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Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Innovation Challenges

Solving these technology innovation challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. If your technology has the answer, get in touch via our contact form on the Innovation Challenges page.

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Nova Innovation's tidal turbine is installed at Bluemull Sound, Shetland as part of the EnFAIT project.


Tidal energy game changer Nova Innovation Ltd is proving that tidal energy can compete with other sources of renewable energy, including offshore wind. The Edinburgh-based developer scored a world first in 2016 with its three-turbine Shetland Array, a project delivered with 80% Scottish supply chain content, and is now the lead partner in the £20.2m European EnFAIT project.

The Challenge

The predictable tides around the coast of Great Britain give us one of the best marine energy resources in the world. But, while estimates suggest marine energy could contribute £4bn to the economy by 2050, the industry is still proving its technology and working to bring down the cost of producing electricity from the tides.

As well as adding another three turbines to the Shetland Array, making it the largest tidal array in the world, EnFAIT will reposition the turbines to explore the optimum layout for the array to operate most efficiently.

This partnership working has really helped us drive down the cost of the operations and maintenance of our array and is a key factor in our success. Patrick Ross-Smith, Nova Innovation

The Solution

The EnFAIT consortium includes nine leading industrial, academic and research organisations, including ORE Catapult, which will use sector-leading computer modelling software to demonstrate that the project could reduce the cost of tidal energy by 40%.

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