Leonardo DiCaprio to shine spotlight on Orkney’s clean energy efforts

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Leonardo DiCaprio has produced and narrated the Ice on Fire documentary, which features renewable energy work in Orkney. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A film produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio will shine a spotlight on Orkney’s pioneering marine energy work when it premieres this month.

The Oscar-winning actor has made the Ice on Fire documentary which highlights the impact of humanity on climate change, and whether it can be reversed.

A segment in Orkney was filmed in 2017, focusing on the work of Orbital Marine Power  and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on the islands.

Orbital Marine is the firm behind the two megawatt SR2000 turbine which made history as the world’s largest tidal energy converter when it was launched in 2016.

The company tested the technology at EMEC, the “only centre of its kind in the world”, providing open-sea testing facilities for wave and tidal energy systems.

Director of the film, Leila Conners, said: “Orkney was an incredible location and the renewable energy technologies in Orkney are unparalled, truly.

“We had a very good shoot on board the SR2000 with James Murray and Chris Milne of Orbital Marine Power, and (EMEC managing director) Neil Kermode was kind enough to give us a tour of EMEC, a very rational and good idea to help new tidal technologies get started.

“As such we were impressed with the support for tidal which can be such a powerful addition to solving climate disruption.

“Thanks also to Orcadians for their kind hospitality and to Dave Flanagan for his support in getting the film shot in Orkney.”

The crew from Ice on Fire interviewing EMEC’s Neil Kermode

Ice on Fire will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month and will air on the HBO channel in the US in June.

It focuses on the severity of the climate change challenge, as well as efforts being made globally to reduce carbon emissions.

Filming was supported by the Digital Media Orkney Project.

Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC, said: “Mankind’s use of technology got us into this dangerous position and new technologies and new thinking will need to get us out of it.

“We firmly believe marine renewables will be part of that technical fightback.”

Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital Marine Power,  added: “We are delighted to be featured in Ice on Fire and look forward to the documentary leading to an increased enthusiasm and commitment for making tidal energy a global reality.”