The marine and biomass energy industries will be major beneficiaries, getting £8m and £7.5m of the £20m package respectively. Scotland’s £3m investment in microgeneration announced last week (see related story) is included in the funding package. Hydrogen and fuel cells have also been promised support in the form of £1.5m.

Announcing the investment, Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicol Stephen said he wanted Scotland to become “the renewable energy powerhouse of Europe.”

“To achieve this, we need to harness the great diversity of resource we have – the wind, the waves, the tides and the forests that make Scotland’s renewable potential the envy of the world,” he said.

But Green members of the Scottish parliament dismissed the investment as insufficient and called it “a drop in the ocean” compared to renewables spending in the rest of the UK.

They said that the Executive would need to spend £180m over the next two years to match per capita funding going to renewables and energy efficiency in Northern Ireland.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “Though this package is certainly better than nothing, there is still too little money and support for marine and microrenewables, inadequate help for consumers wanting to generate green energy, and too little ambition to secure Scotland’s future in the global low-carbon economy.

“Scotland has the potential to become self-sufficient in energy and create thousands of new jobs – but only if we effectively exploit our resources for renewable energy, and use energy efficiently.”

Goska Romanowicz

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