An £18 million fund has been announced that will help develop Scotland's first commercial wave and tidal power arrays.
The money forms part of £35 million the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies will provide in direct support to the marine and tidal industry over the next three years. This is the Scottish Government's biggest commitment to date for the wave and tidal sector, and will be used to improve capability and infrastructure, as well as helping to fund technology solutions and the roll-out of marine arrays.
The fund, which was announced today by First Minister Alex Salmond, will help the marine renewables industry make the next step towards commercial maturity, and help planned developments in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters and other waters around Scotland.
The Scottish Government will consult with the industry about the nature of the projects to be supported by the fund, and additional support will be made available for infrastructure and supply chain development to keep pace with the speed of development.
The fund will build on successes in the industry to date, achieved through Scottish Government support and the facilities at the world-class European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). Kawasaki Heavy Industry announced they are bringing their tidal energy system to the centre for testing.
Funds will complement those already announced by DECC and supplement the significant funds that could be made available through the EU's New Entrant Reserve - for which four Scottish based array deployment projects are competing.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: "I am delighted to announce an eighteen million pound commercialisation fund which will help developers to unleash the power of Scotland's seas, as part of our biggest financial commitment to date of £35 million for this sector.
"We know Scotland's waters are host to awesome forces and that there is enough wave and tidal energy around Scotland to meet our demands for power several times over.
"Scotland can lead the world in marine energy. We have a tenth of Europe's wave power and a quarter of its tidal power as well as the legacy and expertise of our traditional energy industries.
"Marine energy will be crucial in transforming our energy supply and will contribute to our ambitious target for all of Scotland's electricity needs to be met from renewables by 2020.
"This fund will play a vital role in helping the industry move us towards that goal, helping them develop their prototype devices into commercially viable arrays."