Industry welcomes the Scottish Government’s support for marine energy playing a key role in the transition to net zero

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on its Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition (ESJTP) Plan and met with the Marine Energy Council (MEC) and Scottish Renewables to discuss the role of marine energy in realising Scotland’s ambitions.

The Scottish Government’s Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan is consulting on a vision for the marine energy vision for Scotland to ensure industry is supported to realise the potential of Scotland’s geography, which provides a rich tidal stream and wave energy resource.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson MSP met with the MEC and Scottish Renewables to discuss the role of marine energy in Scotland’s net zero future, and the exciting developments that have taken place in 2023. 

In January of this year Nova Innovation announced the doubling of its Shetland Tidal Array and in February SAE’s MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth became the first tidal stream site to generate over 50GWh of electricity. In addition, the UK Government’s last renewable auction will support an addition 30MW+ of tidal stream capacity being deployed in Scotland’s waters by 2027.

Industry is calling for the Scottish Government to support the marine sector growth by increasing the eligible capacity for future renewable auctions, setting clear targets, and maintaining its support for the world-leading Wave Energy Scotland programme.

“Scotland is at the forefront of the clean energy transition. Marine energy can have a key role in delivering net zero whilst creating opportunities to export technology, skills and knowledge around the world.

“The predictability and availability of the marine energy resource off Scotland’s coastline, together with Scotland’s early lead in the technology, provides an opportunity to build on Scotland’s maritime heritage and to secure a substantial share of the emerging global market for marine energy.

“We will work with industry to develop our vision for marine energy and to agree the collective actions required to build on the achievements of the sector to date.”
Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport

Supply chain analysis from the University of Edinburgh has identified that Gross Value Added (GVA) from UK wave and tidal deployments could reach £8.9 billion from domestic deployments by 2050. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult has estimated that the tidal stream industry has the potential to support almost 4000 jobs in the UK by 2030.

“It was fantastic to meet with the Cabinet Secretary to discuss how the Scottish Government can continue to work with the marine energy industry to realise its ambitions for the sector. A number of world-leading tidal stream and wave companies are based in Scotland, and with its rich tidal and wave resource Scotland is perfectly placed to maintain and build upon its world leadership.

“This will require consistency of support from renewable auctions, a supportive consenting regime, and a clear strategic plan. I look forward to continuing this dialogue with the Scottish Government and turning our shared ambitions into a reality.”
Sue Barr, Chair of the Marine Energy Council

© UK Marine Energy Council (UKMEC)

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