Milestone deal

Nova to develop tidal tech in Asia after COP26 talks

Simon Forrest

Simon Forrest: abundant energy source

Tidal energy pioneer Nova Innovation is to develop its pioneering technology in Indonesia following talks with a delegation from the country at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Innovate UK has awarded £200,000 to support a feasibility study that could deliver the firm’s tidal turbine array in the region.

It is the first Asian project for Scotland-based Nova which has teamed up with Indonesian University Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) to work on the project in the Larantuka Strait.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said: “Our goal is to kick-start the development of tidal stream as a sustainable and abundant energy source across the world.

“Indonesia is blessed with vast tidal energy resources that can be harnessed to generate clean, predictable, sustainable energy for the country.

“By working closely with our Indonesian partners we will accelerate the harnessing of this untapped resource, capable of powering Indonesia for generations to come.”

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest countries, with over 270 million people and 17,500 islands. The country’s electricity grid is currently dominated by fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – which together accounted for 83% of electricity generation in 2020.

However, the Indonesian Government has committed to increase renewable energy production by 2030, and the country’s abundant tidal energy resources provide the perfect opportunity to decarbonise its economy.

Larantuka Strait lies between the islands of Flores and Adonara and has one of the strongest tidal currents in Indonesia.

The array would use Nova’s next generation 100kW tidal turbines – innovative, world-leading technology that has been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since 2016.

Bambang Pramujati, vice rector of the ITS, said: “The eastern region of Indonesia has the characteristics of an archipelago and abundant natural energy sources.

“The electricity supply system in this region has to deal with a variety of geographical factors, uneven population distribution and an uneven distribution of energy needs.

“Collaborative research between ITS and Nova Innovation will deliver a feasibility study for a tidal energy array in the Larantuka strait with the aim of answering economic and technical feasibility issues and providing confidence for investors.”

Nova Innovation met with members of the Indonesian delegation to COP26 in Glasgow to discuss the potential for tidal energy in the country.

Mike Freer MP, UK Government Minister for Exports, said: “Congratulations to Nova Innovation on their grant from Innovate UK. COP26 showed us all how exciting initiatives like this can help the UK – and the planet – build back greener.

“Clean growth is at the heart of our trade policy and the deals we are negotiating around the world will drive green exports and investment, create jobs and tackle the threat of climate change”. 

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