Tuesday, 16 March 2010



Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has hailed the First Minister's roll call of companies which successfully bid to the Crown Estate to install tidal and wave devices in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters .

Alex Salmond has 'fired the starting gun' for a renewables revolution in the Pentland Firth and Orcadian waters with initial production targets of 1.2 GW.

The energy produced will power around 700,000 homes and mean an estimated capital investment of around £3-4 billion by 2020.

Responding to today's announcement Mr Gibson, a strong supporter of Scotland's renewables industries said:

"This announcement marks a new future of for Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney. It means that the North Coast of Scotland becomes a world leader in marine energy.

"Clean marine and sustainable energy will have it's heart in these waters. It is a truly momentous day of the North and Orkney. This also means that Scotland as a whole will benefit from energy security. It is a win win situation "

"I am heartened by the commitment of the Scottish Government to renewable energy. We can fully focus and finance the burgeoning renewables industry without the wasteful distractions of new nuclear which is still backed by Labour and the Tories. Marine renewables can guide us out of recession and create jobs across Scotland."

"In Scotland we have our priorities right in backing sustainable development which will create long term highly skilled jobs.

"Coupled with the offshore wind potential the future for all the Highlands and Islands as well as Scotland is bright."

Mr Gibson also called for Scrabster Harbour to receive equal funding treatment with it's counterpart in Lyness as a base for servicing the new marine devices and called on HIE to ensure that its road map, also announced today, has no unnecessary speed limits.

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