Making waves

The Scottish Parliament has introduced Scotland’s first marine bill designed to protect the country’s marine environment and support development of tidal and wave power industries.


The Scottish Parliament has introduced Scotland’s first marine bill designed to protect the country’s marine environment and support development of tidal and wave-power industries.


The new regulations mean a simpler system for marine planning, licensing and consents, to be developed and delivered by Marine Scotland.


The bill has been welcomed by industry experts who raised concerns over a fragmented approach towards renewable tidal and wave power in Scotland.


Martin McAdam, chief executive of Edinburgh-based marine group Aquamarine, said: ‘Scotland has the potential to be a powerhouse of marine energy.


 


‘We have a vast resource; we have vital engineering and manufacturing skills; as a nation, we have the necessary drive and determination to lead this brand-new industry.

‘At this early stage in its development, the marine-energy industry needs consistent support to help it reach its full potential.


 


‘It’s not just funding and investment that is required; it is solutions that save our most precious commodity: time.


 


‘I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised this and has established Marine Scotland.

‘Marine Scotland will be a one-stop shop for Aquamarine Power and fellow developers to get our wave and tidal power devices from the drawing board and into the water for testing as quickly and efficiently as possible.’

Scottish seas account for a quarter of Europe’s tidal resource and 10 per cent of its wave resource.


 


According to McAdam, the industry has the potential to provide Scotland with a secure energy supply, to create high-paying jobs, to help reduce climate change and to create a vital new export market.

In response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the bill, Aquamarine has highlighted the importance of a marine science strategy and a centralised data-gathering process.

McAdam added: ‘The Scottish Government must develop a focused approach to gathering scientific data about our seas and a streamlined mechanism for analysing this data.


 


‘This knowledge will be key to aligning technological innovation with the sustainable capacity of our seas.

‘This week, I will write directly to the first minister to recommend that the Scottish Government commissions a study of the success story of the renewable energy industry in European countries such as Germany and Denmark.


 


‘I believe that by learning from our fellow European nations, Scotland could match, if not surpass, their success in this crucial industry.’