Subsidies for offshore wind technology could be increased as part of a plan to encourage investment, it has been revealed.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing hopes a new targeted incentive could open up the exploitation of deeper, more challenging waters off the coast of Scotland.
The proposal, which will be open to consultation, is part of changes to Scotland’s Renewables Obligation, the main support mechanism for renewable electricity projects in the UK.
Other decisions include the retention of support for hydro-generation, removal of support for some larger and less efficient wood-fuelled biomass stations and a 10 per cent reduction in support for onshore wind.
Mr Ewing said: “Scotland has huge offshore wind potential, but a lot of that resource is in far greater water depths than elsewhere in the UK, which is challenging and costly to exploit.
“That’s why I have announced our intention to consult upon and introduce a new band for innovative ways to deploy offshore wind in Scotland’s deeper waters. Onshore wind is already leading the way for renewable energy and has helped us make the case for the grid upgrades which will be so important as we move forward to offshore wind, wave and tidal.”