Scotland risks losing its position as the global leader in wave and tidal power unless steps are taken to put in place vital infrastructure, according to the head of a green-energy trade body
Jason Ormiston, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, will tell hundreds of experts attending its annual marine-energy conference, in Aberdeen, on Thursday, that Scotland could miss out on creating a multimillion-pound industry if a coherent wave and tidal strategy is not put in place.
Mr Ormiston says: “Scotland has a fantastic opportunity to not only to achieve our own environmental targets but also to do with marine power what Denmark has done with wind power: create a 25,000-job industry that exports its expertise across the globe.
“Over the past year we have seen the marine sector in Scotland making significant steps, in partnership with government, and we’re starting to see action to support the sector’s growth on a variety of fronts, however, we risk losing out to other nations unless we have a strategy in place which details what needs to be delivered in terms of infrastructure and by when.
“This conference will help to focus minds on the key actions that need to be taken now to ensure the prize of a booming marine-energy industry by 2020 is won by Scotland.”
Gareth Davies, managing director of Orkney-based Aquatera, is to present a marine-energy route map at the conference which charts the course for Scotland’s marine sector and keep it one step ahead of other countries.
He says: “There is not a year to spare if Scotland is to maintain its world-leading position in wave and tidal energy. We simply must start laying the foundations now.
“The route map we are devising looks at how we can get enough power from the sea to power more than 500,000 homes in Scotland by 2020, as well as securing jobs, rural development and Scotland’s leadership position.
“As well as the energy technologies themselves, it will take a huge amount of investment in the coming years in terms of new boats to instal the devices and new ports for the boats to operate from as well as transmission to bring the power to market.
“This may all sound extremely ambitious, but it if we are to be seen as a leading nation in renewables we must pull out all the stops.”