Scotland at risk of losing tidal lead, Energy Minister warns

Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, has warned that the inability to access EU funding as a result of Brexit puts Scotland at risk of losing the market lead in tidal energy sector.

Wheelhouse said that tidal energy industry in Scotland could fail to take advantage of its commercial potential without continued access to EU funds as a result of Brexit, which could result in other countries such as Canada reaping the benefits, according to The Press and Journal

“We risk losing an industry that Scotland is leading the way with if we are not able to access funding. We risk losing the market lead we currently have in the way we did with onshore wind,” Wheelhouse was quoted as saying by The Press and Journal.

The Scottish Energy Minister was speaking after delivering his keynote speech at the annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC), organized by law firm Harper Macleod, in Inverness on April 25, 2017.

In his keynote speech, Wheelhouse also said: “The low carbon and renewable energy sector in Scotland already supported 58,500 jobs by 2015, turning over £10.5 billion and greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland had, by 2014, reduced by 45.8% since 1990, helping us to achieve our 2020 climate target, six years early.

“The Highlands and Islands is an acknowledged powerhouse of renewable energy research and development, such as at EMEC in Orkney, and has recognized potential for jobs growth associated with the renewables supply chain, including manufacturing, installation and in operations and maintenance.

“The region is well placed to capitalize upon the wealth of wind, marine, and hydro resources in the area.”

The 2017 SHREC conference, which brought together leading figures in the renewable industry, had a particular focus on the technology and innovations which could drive the local renewable sector in the coming years, as it battles against numerous challenges.

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