£200k grant supports underwater tidal turbine in Indonesia

turbine underwater

UK tidal energy firm Nova Innovation has won funding that could deliver the first ever tidal turbine array in Indonesia.

Innovate UK has awarded £200k to Nova’s FLITE (Feasibility of Larantuka and Indonesian Tidal Energy) project that will deliver a feasibility study for a 7MW tidal array in Larantuka Strait.

Larantuka Strait lies between the islands of Flores and Adonara and has one of the strongest tidal currents in Indonesia. The array would utilise Nova’s next generation 100kW tidal turbines – innovative, world-leading technology that has been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since 2016. FLITE is the first Asian project for Scottish-based Nova Innovation, who have teamed up with leading Indonesian University Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) to deliver the work.

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 for countries 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.

Nova will partner with the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) to conduct on-site technical and socio-economic research supporting the business case for the tidal array.

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.