The Scottish Executive has revealed a fresh set of measures that it hopes will lead to the increased uptake of marine generated power.

Renewable wave and tidal energy could provide up to 10% of Scotland’s electricity production and create around 7,000 new jobs under the new measures, the Executive says.

Deputy First Minister and Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen said he was making major changes to renewable energy regulations to kick-start multi-million pound investments in marine energy. The minister said that he would be taking action to award additional Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to wave and tidal output.

The Renewables Obligation requires power suppliers to deliver a certain percentage of their energy supply from renewable sources. Eligible renewable generators receive ROCs for each MWh of electricity generated. They then have set certificate limits they must achieve.

The executive will now consider the amendments necessary to the obligation which will allow additional ROCs to be provided for units of output from wave and tidal devices in order to make the marine generation of power more attractive to energy producers.

Commenting on the development, Nicol Stephen said: The changes I am announcing… will unlock Scotland’s marine powerhouse. Tens of millions of pounds of support will be available – with the potential for hundreds of millions to be invested in new wave and tidal projects around Scotland’s shores.

Our aim is to generate up to 10% of Scotland’s electricity from the sea around us. That is equivalent to completely replacing one of Scotland’s huge fossil fuelled power stations. Amending the Renewables Obligation Scotland will mean that wind schemes continue to get support – but wave and tidal projects will get an even greater boost.

Mr Stephen added that industry experts had told him that Scotland’s natural marine features had the capacity to be harnessed to generate one gigawatt of electricity, which is equivalent to one-tenth of Scotland’s electricity production.

The executive’s target is that 18% of electricity generated in Scotland should come from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 40% by 2020.