Scotland has dominated the marine energy landscape for almost two decades. Onshore construction works for the MeyGen project – the world’s largest planned tidal stream array – began earlier this year (January 2015). The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has now seen 16 different wave and tidal developers from around the world deploy their devices at its test facility in Orkney. Since EMEC was set up in 2003, the marine renewables sector in Orkney has grown steadily and now supports around 250 jobs.
The Scottish Government sees the potential of ocean power to contribute to our sustainable energy future and has worked closely with Ocean Energy Europe – the trade association for ocean renewables in Europe – and other member states to promote the marine energy agenda at a European level, building on earlier visits to Scotland by energy commissioner Günther Oettinger and a visit to EMEC by commission officials.
We welcomed the publication of the commission’s action plan, Blue Energy, and we have fully supported and participated in the development of the Ocean Energy Forum. The Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to helping industry overcome the hurdles to successful wave and tidal energy deployment. We set up the Renewable Energy Investment Fund to help marine and other earlier stage projects become commercially viable. We refocused our Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund to narrow the gap between the wave and tidal sectors. And most recently, we took the bold move of creating Wave Energy Scotland, which brings together the best engineering and academic minds in order to accelerate wave technology further.