TIDAL power extinguishes the arguments for new nuclear plants, Ian Blackford has argued.

The SNP Westminster leader told the BBC Question Time audience in Suffolk – where the new Sizewell C nuclear plant will be built – he was “delighted” to assist them in objecting to the project.

It came on the same day the Chancellor confirmed the £30 billion project was going ahead as he announced the first £700 million contracts would be signed within weeks.

Citing a Royal Society report from 2021 which found the UK is capable of generating 11GW of tidal power by 2050 – 50% greater than current nuclear capacity, Blackford said: “We can produce safe, green energy, we don’t need nuclear.”

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Blackford said the potential amount of energy that could be generated through tidal power – which generates electricity with waves in the sea – would be enough to meet the basic amount of demand for the UK.

And the technology, which uses underwater turbines to generate electricity, has the potential to support far more jobs in the country than does nuclear, Blackford added.

He said: “Between now and 2050, we could increase fivefold our green energy output in Scotland.

“We could go from 12GW where we currently are to 80GW, actually produce about four times as much energy than we need, so we could assist the demand for green energy here, throughout the rest of the United Kingdom as well.

“In doing that, you talk about growth, you talk about jobs, what we’ve argued… is that Scotland alone, we would create 385,000 jobs by 2050 – dwarfing what we currently have in oil and gas.

“Now a key element of that is tidal. And if we develop tidal, based on what’s contained in a Royal Society Report last October just before COP26, we could get to 15% of the UK’s electricity production from tidal.”

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He highlighted that energy production needs to be able to generate the baseload demand of the country – but said this was achievable with wave power.

Blackford added: “We need baseload, but you can get the baseload from tidal… If you look at 70% of the supply chain in projects that are there today, the technology comes from Scotland – 80% comes from the UK.

“Look at the Royal Society report, we don’t need nuclear because you can get the baseload from tidal.

“And if I can assist those that are objecting to Sizewell here [Suffolk], then I’d be delighted to do so. It’s expensive, it is a white elephant, we can produce safe, green energy we don’t need nuclear.”