WAVE and tidal projects in Orkney waters are to benefit from an £18million boost.
The finance is part of £35million of funding the Scottish Government will provide to the marine and tidal industry over the next three years.
Its aim is to improve capability and infrastructure, as well as helping to fund technology solutions and the roll-out of marine turbines.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur welcomed the news, saying that the potential for wave and tidal energy to be harnessed from the water around Orkney was enormous.
He said: “Only by proving what can be achieved at this level will Scotland be able to maintain its global lead in marine renewables.
“This, of course, will not come cheap. Significant amounts of private investment will be required, but so too will ongoing public support.
“The announcement of £18million funding for Orkney is very welcome and helps build on the support already committed by UK ministers.”
The Scottish Government will consult with the industry about the nature of the projects to be supported by the fund, and additional support will be made available for infrastructure and supply chain development to keep pace with the speed of development.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “We know Scotland’s waters are host to awesome forces and that there is enough wave and tidal energy around Scotland to meet our demands for power several times over.
“Scotland can lead the world in marine energy.
“We have a tenth of Europe’s wave power and a quarter of its tidal power, as well as the legacy and expertise of our traditional energy industries.”