Green energy experts are calling on the Scottish and UK governments to invest £80 million in wave and tidal power.
Industry body RenewableUK said the cash was needed to help the sector – which could create 10,000 jobs in the UK by 2020 – develop to its full potential. It warned that without investment jobs could go overseas.
Scotland boasts 25 per cent of Europe’s tidal power and 10 per cent of its wave power, with marine energy having the potential to provide a fifth of the electricity consumed in the UK.
A new report on the state of the marine energy industry said governments in Edinburgh and London had so far only provided £38m for the sector – just under a third of the £120m needed for its full-scale commercialisation.
RenewableUK said some of the cash could be provided by the Green Investment Bank but added that it does not currently provide funding for early-stage marine energy development.
Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, said that adopting “an overly cautious approach could allow other countries to steal Scotland’s lead”.
A Scottish Government spokesman said they had announced an £18m fund to help “unleash the power of Scotland’s seas” as part of a wider package of support for the sector.
Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland said: “This report is a reminder that we must continue investing in green, clean technologies of the future.”