Scottish coast could generate 1000s of renewables jobs
Thousands of jobs could generate billions of pounds out of marine renewables for Scotland's economy by 2020.
That is the conclusion of the Marine Energy Group study published today (August 26), but environmental groups have dismissed it as a ‘press release’ and called for actual funding rather than spin.
The study, prepared by professionals in the renewables industry for the Scottish Government, outlines the future for wave and tidal power and lists recommendations on how to become a world leader in the field.
It calls for the government to repeat its wave and tidal energy support scheme and a review of grid infrastructure needed to support growth.
It also demands the Treasury do more to help the sector, including the release of the Fossil Fuel Levy surplus funds to help promote renewables in Scotland.
Scottish cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable, John Swinney, said: “Marine energy will be key to Scotland’s future energy mix and that’s why we changed our support mechanisms to give greater assistance to wave and tidal energy in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.”
In response to the report the Scottish Greens voiced concerns over ‘inadequate funding’ for wave and tidal power,
Green MSP, Patrick Harvie, said: “As this report confirms, the main obstacles continue to be the Governments in London and Edinburgh, with both putting plenty of effort into press releases on marine renewables while providing next to no financial support.
“It is vital a significant increase in funding for marine renewables is made available by the Scottish Government.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s chief executive, Duncan McLaren, said: “If renewables are to fulfil their remarkable potential, Government and the energy industry must support the development of a smart grid, incorporating enhanced electricity storage. This critical element of the framework must not be overlooked.”