PERPETUUS tidal energy (PTEC), the company behind a publicly funded Isle of Wight's tidal energy project, has admitted it has been put on hold - just a month after claiming it was on schedule to generate 30mw of electricity by 2020.
The issue was raised at the Isle of Wight Council's scrutiny committee by Green councillor Michael Lilley, who has now received a written response from Tory cabinet member Cllr Michael Murwill.
Cllr Lilley highlighted that Perpetuus tidal energy (PTEC), into which the Isle of Wight Council pumped a £1 million investment, had not bid to government for a ring-fenced price for its energy, which it needs to make the project reality.
The company said it did not put in a bid because it knew it would fail against "more mature" renewables.
Cllr Murwill replied: "All dates are in abeyance.
"PTEC and the industry as a whole are lobbying the government to come up with an alternative financial support scheme to allow this industry to grow beyond its current early development situation.
"Several avenues are being explored.
"The project is ready to go with all relevant permissions in place - although some shore-based planning permissions are under some time pressure - but it would be considered unwise to move on from this point without the financial support mechanism in place."
Responding to Cllr Lilley's question over what would happen to the council's cash if the project did materialise, Cllr Murwill said PTEC was contractually bound to pay back the council before other creditors.
Work done on it already meant the scheme had a value to potential purchasers too, he said.
PTEC chairman Robert Stevens said without government support the marine energy project could not compete on price.
"Whilst our project has been delayed it is still viable and we believe achievable with government support.
"As we negotiate through Brexit it is more important than ever to capitalise on the UK's huge tidal resource and technology advantages to expand our renewable energy output to export energy, services and products.
"This strengthens the UK's negotiating position when it comes to purchasing energy, exiting Europe and creates jobs and exports and protects the longer term price of energy," he said.