Marine energy is key for Scotland

More than 12,000 jobs in marine renewables could contribute £2.5bn to Scotland’s economy by 2020, according to a report published today.



The industry-led Marine Energy Group study charts a course for wave and tidal power around Scotland, and highlights actions to build further success in the sector.



The group has called on the Scottish government to repeat its Wave and Tidal Energy Support scheme and has asked for a review of grid infrastructure required to support growth.



It also recommends that government takes a fresh look at the levels of support available under the renewables obligation. Among other things, the group has called for the treasury to do more to help the sector by releasing the Fossil Fuel Levy surplus funds to help promote renewables in Scotland.



While visiting Stromness-based marine energy company Aquatera, finance and sustainable growth secretary, John Swinney, said he agreed with the report’s recommendations.



‘Industry recognises, as this government has always believed, that the treasury should unlock Scotland’s share of the Fossil Fuel Levy – currently more than £150m – to allow us to give additional support to our renewables industry, the economy and environment,’ he added.



‘This report is an excellent example of collaboration in the public and private sectors. The recommendations are very much industry driven and we will consider their views very carefully as we continue to build a world-leading renewables sector.’



Environmental groups such as World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Scotland were also enthused about the release of the report.



Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: ‘This study shows that Scotland could literally rule the waves when it comes to marine renewables.



‘We urge government, industry and others to work together to make sure this country does not lose out on becoming world leaders in marine renewables as it unfortunately did on wind power.



‘However, if we are to fully tap into offshore wind, wave and tidal power we must also safeguard the nation’s important marine environment.’