By Paul McCormack
Aquamarine Power, Britain’s only marine energy company, has this week announced that there is potential for recruitment in the industry to increase by 150 per cent.
The Edinburgh based organisation, which develops wave and tidal energy, believes that with the correct backing from the government, this form of energy production could eventually employ more people than the oil and gas companies based in the North Sea.
A report by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers has called on the Scottish government to invest £40m to help the industry to move forward and develop their energy producing products off the coast of Orkney.
Currently employing more than 1,000 workers in Scotland, marine energy companies are aiming to expand in order to become the most efficient form of renewable energy.
Michael Berry, Communications Finance and Sustainable growth spokesman for the Scottish government said: “Scotland is leading the world in the development of marine energy. Our seas can provide 25 per cent of Europe’s tidal power and 10 per cent of its wave power – backed by significant government support, developers are investing millions in the testing and deployment of wave and tidal devices to harness that potential.”
Holyrood has called for 30 per cent of Scotland’s energy to be renewable by 2011, increasing to 50 per cent by 2020, and this source could be the ideal method for the government to reach its proposed targets.
Berry added: “£10 million is being used to support wave and tidal energy projects around Scotland and a further £2.5 million is going towards infrastructure projects at the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. The issue of further support for the sector will be examined by the Forum for Renewable Energy Development.”
This decision will come as great news for everyone in the marine energy business and will open up the possibility of several thousand new jobs across the country.