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Last Updated: Monday, 24 April 2006, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Orkney energy centre wins backing
Scotland is leading the way in wave power potential
An Orkney marine energy testing centre has secured 253,000 of funding to help it lead research.

First Minister Jack McConnell announced the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) funding during a visit to the site on Monday.

Emec opened in 2004 as the world's first facility for testing wave and tidal power.

The funding is to develop benchmark quality control standards for the technology.

'Huge potential'

Mr McConnell said: "We may be a small country but our renewable energy potential is massive.

"Scotland has both the natural resources and the talent to make that happen.

"In the Highlands and Islands alone, we have enormous resources. I am determined to see Scotland exploit this huge potential.

"It is great for Scotland and for Orkney that the world is looking to us when developing the renewable energy technologies of the future."

However, the Scottish Green Party described the grant - 136,500 from the executive and 116,500 from the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - as "a drop in the ocean".

The Greens' energy spokeswoman Shiona Baird said: "The test centre in Orkney is a step forward, so too is any additional financial support - but we need to be making big strides forward, not tiny tiptoes."

Sea energy 'could help power UK'
24 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature

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