Ways of developing the potential multimillion-pound offshore-wind and marine-energy industry in the west coast and the Highlands and islands will be discussed at a seminar this week.
Argyll and Bute Council is hosting Friday’s gathering at Oban, where delegates will hear how European policy and funding can be used to help develop the renewables potential of the area and encourage sustainable economic growth.
The seminar at the Scottish Marine Institute at Dunstaffnage, home of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, will be opened by Argyll and Bute Council leader Dick Walsh and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
It will bring together national and European policy experts plus key figures from the renewables industry.
Topics up for discussion will include the physical infrastructure requirements needed to support offshore and marine renewables, what opportunities exist in relation to business and skill development in the sector within the area and to identify how European policy and funding can be used to help unlock the renewable-energy potential off the west coast.
Mr Walsh said: “Argyll and Bute and the wider west coast have some of Europe’s best renewables resources and can make a significant contribution to the ambitious Scottish, UK and European renewable-energy and carbon-reduction targets if the right legislation, regulatory conditions and funding support allows.
“A quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind and tidal energy resource and a tenth of Europe’s wave capacity is found in Scotland.
“Argyll and Bute Council has a vision to be at the heart of renewable energy development in Scotland. We already have a distinguished track record of pioneering and delivering projects like the Limpet at Portnahaven on Islay, the world’s first commercial wavepower energy scheme.
“Argyll and Bute Council’s goal is to maximise the opportunities for sustainable economic growth for the benefit of our communities and Scotland as a whole.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise area manager for Argyll and the Islands Douglas Cowan said: “Argyll’s marine resource is a tremendous natural asset for the area which can produce both environmental and economic benefits.”