The National Renewables Infrastructure Fund will help to build and install offshore wind and marine energy farms.

First minister, Alex Salmond made the announcement at the annual conference of RenewableUK in Glasgow.

The funding to be spread over four years is expected to create around 28,000 jobs and boost the Scottish economy by £7.1 billion.

Mr Salmond said: “I’m pleased to welcome the renewables industry to Scotland because we are a nation with considerable natural and human resources and the political will needed to deliver a green energy revolution that can build sustainable economic recovery and reduce Europe’s carbon emissions”.

He also repeated his call for the UK Government to remove the restrictions on access to the £191 million of Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Levy funds generated north of the border to invest in renewable industries.

He said: “The Scottish Parliament has condemned the UK Government’s refusal to give unrestricted access to Scotland’s £191 million Fossil Fuel Levy funds.

“Together with industry, we must and we will continue to press the Treasury to release these funds now due to Scotland.

“They remain vital for the development of offshore wind and marine power, for heat networks and technology to deliver our renewable heat targets; and vital too for our communities, so they can invest in and benefit from the green economy.”

More than 7,000 offshore wind turbines are expected to be constructed off the UK’s coast over the next decade. The Scottish government and enterprise agencies will begin to work with site owners and public sector companies on providing manufacturing, operations and maintenance services for the offshore wind industry.

Alison Brown

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