Nicola Sturgeon urges UK Government to support marine energy

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK Government to support marine energy. Mrs Sturgeon has urged the Tory Administration to sort out the “uncertainty” in the industry. […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK Government to support marine energy.

Mrs Sturgeon has urged the Tory Administration to sort out the “uncertainty” in the industry.

She said: “It is absolutely vital that the UK Government honours its earlier commitment to provide a ring-fenced allocation for marine energy in its renewables support scheme. They must tackle the current uncertainty that exists before they cause irreparable damage to the long term prospects for the sector.”

The UK Government insists it is committed tokeeping down bills for householders and businesses by making sure there is a secure, affordable and clean supply of energy now and in the future”.

A BEIS spokesperson added: “This is why we’re making £730 million available for renewable energy projects this parliament, sending a clear signal that the UK is open for business.”

The First Minister of Scotland’s comment follows the launch of the MeyGen project, the world’s first ever large-scale tidal stream farm.

The project, owned by Atlantis Resources, has a capacity of 400MW and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 175,000 homes.

It is also expected to generate around £275 million for Scotland’s economy.

The Scottish Government invested £23 million in the first phase of the project.

Mrs Sturgeon added: “MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables industry in Scotland and provide vital jobs for a skilled workforce, retaining valuable offshore expertise here in Scotland that would otherwise be lost overseas. Highly skilled operation and maintenance jobs will also need to be carried out locally, providing strong local employment opportunity for rural areas.

“There is no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this project which is why the Scottish Government’s investment is so crucially important.”

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive of Atlantis Resources, said: “Today marks a historic milestone not just for Atlantis and our project partners, but for the entire global tidal power industry.

“This is the day the tidal power industry announced itself as the most exciting new asset class of renewable, sustainable generation in the UK’s future energy mix. This is an industry that is creating jobs and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.”