SCOTLAND’S wave and tidal energy sector has invested more than £217 million in the country to date, with £31.8 million spent in the last 12 months alone, a new report shows.
Almost two-thirds of the growing industry’s supply chain is Scottish, the Scottish Renewables report found.
Marine energy has been forecast to be worth £50 billion by 2050.
Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for offshore renewables at Scottish Renewables, said: “Wave and tidal energy is still very much the renewables new kid on the block but the opportunities it presents are enormous, particularly for Scotland.
“These investment figures, revealed for the first time by our Marine Milestones report, show the significant economic benefits this young sector is bringing.
“Crucially, those benefits are staying local, benefiting communities and families who are looking to renewables for a sustainable future, both economically and environmentally.
“Scotland already leads the world in the development of these audacious, innovative machines and maintaining that position at the front of the global pack is something we believe is worthy of continued government support.”
Scottish Renewables’ Marine Milestones report, which details the level of investment by the sector, is launched today at the organisation’s marine conference in Inverness.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It may be a relatively young industry but news that wave and tidal energy is already worth hundreds of millions to Scotland’s economy bodes really well for the future.
“Having visited the marine renewables testing facility on Orkney, I’ve seen first-hand the positive contribution the industry is making there.
“I hope it won’t be long before similar benefits are replicated in many more communities right around Scotland.
“It has been estimated that by 2050 the global wave and tidal energy market will be worth £50 billion.
“With the right support from governments at Westminster and Holyrood, Scotland is well-placed to lead the world on marine renewables and capture a significant share of this business.
“Alongside energy-saving measures, wave and tidal energy have the potential to play an important role in cutting climate emissions from our power supply long-term.”