Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK government to “end uncertainty around subsidies for wave and tidal stream projects.”
The FM said ahead of a visit today to the Nigg Energy Park for the official launch of the initial MeyGen tidal turbine that Westminster must honour “a ring-fenced allocation for marine energy in its renewable support scheme.”
Sturgeon added: “The UK must tackle the current uncertainty that exists before they cause irreparable damage to the long-term prospects for the sector.”
The Scottish government expects the Atlantis Resources project off Caithness, together with the planned Sound of Islay installation off the west coast, to generate around £275m for the country’s economy. Holyrood has to date provided £23m in funding to the first phase of the MeyGen project.
Sturgeon said: “MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables industry in Scotland and provide vital jobs for a skilled workforce, retaining valuable offshore expertise here in Scotland that would otherwise be lost overseas. Highly skilled operation and maintenance jobs will also need to be carried out locally, providing strong local employment opportunity for rural areas.”
Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius added: “This is the day the tidal power industry announced itself as the most exciting new asset class of renewable, sustainable generation in the UK’s future energy mix. This is an industry that is creating jobs and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.”