A £103million fund has been launched to attract more private investment in renewable energy.
First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled plans for the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh yesterday.
He said the scheme should help to generate significant private finance for green-energy projects.
A £4.3million Scottish Enterprise investment in a test centre for wind-turbines was also announced.
Power group SSE is spending £15million on the Ayrshire site, which will have three berths for testing full-size turbines onshore; seen as a first stage before further trials at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre proposed for near Aberdeen.
Siemens and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe will use the Hunterston onshore facility to develop their latest turbine technology.
The REIF is designed to complement public and private finance schemes, with deals typically involving loans, loan guarantees and equity finance alongside co-investment partners. It will be delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank on behalf of the Scottish Government, with the first deals expected to complete by the end of this financial year.
Mr Salmond said: “We are determined to ensure Scotland is among the world’s key destinations for investment in low-carbon technologies, building on our long-established reputation in engineering, innovation and financial services.
“This fund will help leverage further significant private finance into key areas of the renewables sector where specific funding gaps have been identified.”
The conference, part of Holyrood-backed efforts to identify and debate the opportunities and challenges of offshore renewable-energy developments and infrastructure projects, continues today.