Salmond announces £35m wind power fund

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FIRST Minister Alex Salmond today unveiled a new £35 million fund to attract offshore wind turbine manufacturers to Scotland.

He made the announcement as he opened the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Former US vice-president Al Gore is due to address delegates tomorrow.

A “girl band” of environmental activists dressed as “oily bankers” was due to protest outside the conference, which is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

They claim RBS invests in projects that are fuelling climate change and causing environmental destruction.

The £35m POWERS fund – Prototype Offshore Wind Energy Renewables Support – aims to lever in a further £80m of private investment to bring the production of full-scale proto- types to Scottish sites.

Mr Salmond also announced that Aquamarine Power, the Edinburgh-based firm behind the Oyster wave devices, has secured £7m of new funding and a commitment of further investment from existing shareholders over the next two years to help take the company to commercialisation in 2014.

He said: “In Scotland we have shown that where the public sector provides the right conditions and works strategically with industry, investment and jobs follow.

“This has been evident in several sectors, including in marine energy, which will make an important contribution to us achieving our 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand from renewables.”

Independent research has suggested the offshore wind sector in Scotland could create up to 28,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.