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Caithness News Bulletins September 2004
NORTH MSP QUESTIONS MINISTER ON WAVE
Speaking today Mrs Macmillan said, “I raised the question during Ministerial questions in the Scottish Parliament on Renewable Energy and was encouraged by the Minister’s response. Mr Wallace highlighted a contribution of over £2 million of Executive funding which was used to construct the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney, where the Pelamis device is currently being tested."
"Also, the forum for renewable energy development in Scotland recently published an action plan for accelerating development within the sector and the Scottish Executive, together with the industry, are now moving to implement the report's recommendations. I also asked the Minister if he was aware that engineering construction firms in the Moray Firth area are impatient for the move from prototypes to production to take place and queried what support the Executive can give to encourage generating companies to move into wave power once the prototypes have been proved."
Mr Wallace acknowledged the opportunities now available in construction, adding that he was sure that the Moray Firth yards are well placed to take advantage of marine turbines when they come into production. As regards support for generating companies he again stressed the crucial role of the Orkney testing facility and highlighted the £50 million that has been made available for renewable energy projects from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mrs Macmillan added, “There are considerable economic opportunities associated with all types of renewable energy and the former oil rig construction yards around the Moray Firth have the facilities and can muster the skilled staff necessary to benefit from further developments."
"Scotland is well placed to become a major world player in wave power, which could bring us long-term benefits. I look forward to seeing the research and investment in wave power technology moving into the production phase and I will continue to lobby Ministers to ensure the North benefits from the opportunities associated with this important renewable energy resource.”