Tidal energy firm Nova enjoys investment surge as public demand for clean energy grows

Tidal energy outfit Nova Innovation is opening itself up to additional investment from the public after surpassing its initial crowdfunding target within weeks.
Nova Innovations turbines sit on the seabed and generate power from the tides. Picture: ContributedNova Innovations turbines sit on the seabed and generate power from the tides. Picture: Contributed
Nova Innovations turbines sit on the seabed and generate power from the tides. Picture: Contributed

The Edinburgh-headquartered business, which is chaired by former SSE boss Ian Marchant, raced to its original funding goal of £500,000 just a fortnight after launching its investment round on the Seedrs platform.

More than 800 investors have signed up so far, contributing a combined total of £700,000.

Nova, which designs, builds and operates turbines that generate electricity from the natural ebb and flow of the tide, is now releasing additional equity and inviting more investors to take a stake in its clean energy projects as it looks to expand its operations.

The green energy firm is aiming to “fast-track” tidal energy technology and accelerate its growth across Europe and North America, including progressing plans for a tidal array in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Nova has attributed the surge in financial support to growing public interest in climate change and political parties focusing on sustainable energy measures in their campaigns ahead of next week’s general election.

'Growing clamour for action'

Chief executive Simon Forrest said: “In the face of the declared climate change emergency, we are on a mission to transform the power of the oceans across the world into clean, predictable energy.

“Responding to the growing clamour for action, we are now offering the wider public the opportunity to invest in this ground-breaking green solution.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response, which demonstrates to us the public appetite for new, clean, sustainable solutions to the climate challenge.”

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The global market for tidal energy is estimated to be worth as much as £76 billion.

Nova was responsible for the world’s first offshore tidal array – a series of turbines generating electricity from the sea in Shetland since 2016.

Constant, on-demand power

Last year the firm worked with Tesla to add energy storage to its tidal technology, creating what the world’s first baseload tidal power station with the ability to deliver constant, steady-state power and energy on-demand to meet consumer needs.

Forrest added that tide-generated power can support clean energy pledges made by all major political parties.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have all made specific manifesto pledges to invest in tidal power, while the Conservatives aim to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050.

He said: “Nova Innovation has proven that tidal energy is already happening and is capturing the imagination of the public and politicians as we move to take the technology mainstream.

“The tide is one of the most powerful forces on the planet which until recently has remained untapped. Nova Innovation is changing this and is offering an opportunity for others to get involved.”

Nova’s tidal stream turbines, similar in appearance to wind turbines, sit on the seabed with no visual impact or navigational hazard.

It claims “extensive environmental testing” has shown that the turbines deliver no detrimental impact to wildlife, the marine environment or shipping.