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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Boost for marine power projects
Pelamis project
Mr Stephen pointed to the success of the Pelamis project
Incentives aimed at encouraging marine energy projects around Scotland have been unveiled by Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen in Edinburgh.

The proposals aim to provide increased financial returns to wave and tidal generators, leading to a growth of the sector.

Revenues will be increased for marine renewable developments, based on actual power production.

Suppliers must produce more power through wave or tidal energy.

The Deputy First Minister visited the Edinburgh HQ of Ocean Power Delivery (OPD), which has pioneered the famous Pelamis wave energy device.

It is vital that we do all we can to harness the vast wave and tidal opportunities as soon as possible
Nicol Stephen
Deputy first minister

The green credit support scheme will give an additional tier of financial incentive to firms seeking to harness marine power.

Mr Stephen said: "Our aim is for a new green credits support system to be in place by Spring 2007.

"I firmly believe that Scotland has the potential to be the renewables powerhouse of Europe and a world leader in wave and tidal energy.

"Our conditions make marine energy potential particularly high in Scotland. It is vital that we do all we can to harness the vast wave and tidal opportunities as soon as possible.

"Last month I saw the Scottish-made Pelamis wave energy device being prepared for use in Portugal. We have the technology, the companies and the conditions to get similar systems into Scottish waters."

The news of the move provoked a mixed reaction from politicians and energy experts.

Shiona Baird MSP, Scottish Green co-convener and speaker on energy and enterprise, said: "This is the umpteenth statement by Nicol Stephen saying he's thinking of doing something about marine power, yet there is still no commercial scale development going forward in Scotland."

Maf Smith, chief executive of green energy trade body Scottish Renewables welcomed the move and said that with the right support wave and tidal power could meet 10% of Scotland's electricity needs by 2020.

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