Could tidal energy be the future for charging electric cars in Scotland

31st March 2021 | Commercial Energy

The island of Yell has begun utilising the tech to charge its cars, pushing Scotland towards its target of net-zero emissions by 2045.  Cars in the Shetland Islands are now being powered by tidal turbines in a first for Scotland’s push towards a low-carbon future.
Tidal turbine technology is feeding directly into an electric vehicle charge point on the island, allowing for cars to charge fully using wave power.

Manufacturer Nova Innovation is supplying the tech that it says will not visually impact the landscape or pose a navigation hazard, whilst offering “long-term and accurate” predictability when it comes to powering Shetland’s electricity grid.  Yell’s Nova project has received grant funding through Transport Scotland to install the EV charging infrastructure as part of the clean energy transition.

Tidal energy

Commenting on the new tidal-powered charging points, Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Nova Innovation is demonstrating yet again that Scotland remains at the forefront of developments in zero-emission transport solutions.

“I’m pleased that Scottish Government funding is enabling the installation of a new charge point in Shetland which operates entirely on renewable tidal energy.  This type of innovation is key in responding to the global climate emergency and highlights the opportunities that can be realised here in Scotland as we transition to a net-zero economy.”

In its drive towards becoming a net-zero nation, the Scottish Government will ban the sale of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel by 2032. This has accelerated the need to develop new sources of clean energy to power vehicles.  Last year, Scotland produced the equivalent 97.4% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in 2020, just missing out on its target to use 100% renewable energy by the end of the year.

The next target to reach will be in 2030, when Scotland aims to provide 50% of its energy demand for electricity, along with heat and transport, from renewables. Electric vehicles are set to become a large part of this transition.

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