Scotland Outlines Ambitious Ocean Energy Goals

Renewable wave and tidal energy could provide up to 10 percent of Scotland’s electricity production and create around 7,000 new jobs under measures announced by Nicol Stephen, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Enterprise Minister. And the government appears intent on pursuing that scenario.

“Our aim is to generate up to 10 percent of Scotland’s electricity from the sea around us,” Stephen said. “That is equivalent to completely replacing one of Scotland’s huge fossil fuelled power stations. A group of industry experts advised the Scottish government that the potential exists to install over one GW of wave and tidal capacity in Scottish waters. This is around one-tenth of Scotland’s current total electricity production. Stephen is bridging the funding gap by making renewable energy regulations to kick start multi-million pound investments in marine energy, specifically by awarding renewable obligation certificates for wave and tidal output. “To deliver, we need to do more. The costs of installing and producing energy from marine devices remain high. Development on a large scale will drive down costs and make it possible for these devices to power the engine of a sustainable Scotland,” Stephen said. The target is for 18 percent of electricity generated in Scotland to come from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 40 percent by 2020. And the industry has already responded. To acknowledge that the Scottish Government’s supportive policies are already pulling in projects, Marine Energy Power (Australia) announced plans this week to locate its trials of their particular ocean energy technology off the Scottish coast. The 2004 report from the Forum for Renewable Energy Development Scotland assessed the potential for developing wave and tidal energy in Scotland, and produced an action plan for developing that potential.
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