Government is amending the Marine Renewable-energy Actto make it easier to assess innovative, lower-cost tidal energy technologies and help developers bring them to market faster. The amendments will allow demonstration permits of up to five megawatts and allow companies to sell the electricity they generate at a lower price than existing tidal feed-in-tariffs. “Technology in this industry is evolving rapidly, and if we don’t adapt we risk being left behind,” said Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan. “By taking this next step, Nova Scotia remains a world leader in developing clean, renewable tidal energy in a way that protects the environment, creates opportunities in rural communities and keeps power rates stable.” With the consent of the Natural Resources Minister, the energy minister will be able to issue permits for up to five years. The permits can be renewed for up to five years, but not longer than a total of 18 years. Performance will be a consideration for renewal. The energy minister will also have the authority to negotiate and issue power purchase agreements for up to 15 years and hold operators accountable. No more than 10 megawatts of total power will be authorized under the amendment and operators are still required to have all applicable permits and environmental approvals. Other changes to the act include harmonizing it with the Electricity Act and other minor housekeeping amendments.