The Scottish Executive has opened a GBP8 million fund to support marine energy projects in Scottish waters and bolster the country's strong position in renewable energy production.

<p>The fund has been opened to support projects at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and is expected to provide a major boost to the developing marine generation sector. <br /><br />The marine energy fund was first announced in May. A total of GBP8 million is available to developers to provide up to 40% capital costs and additional revenue support up to 100% eligible costs, to support projects deploying devices at the EMEC. <br /><br />The window for applications extends for the next four weeks and successful projects will be deployed within the next 18 months.<br /><br />Deputy first minister Nicol Stephen announced the opening of the fund scheme at a major renewable energy convention in Beijing, China, where a number of Scottish energy companies have been exhibiting their technology in China for the first time.<br /><br />China is the world&#0039;s second largest consumer of energy and its government has set a target to supply 10% of energy (60GW) from renewables by 2010 and 120GW by 2020.<br /><br />Mr Stephen told the international audience, Scottish companies have the skills and the industrial expertise to help meet China&#0039;s renewables ambitions.<br /><br />In Scotland we have a number of first class renewable energy projects underway, he continued. But there is far more to renewable energy than wind farms. Scotland has 25% of Europe&#0039;s tidal power potential. And we have wave power technology that is a world first…I am determined to continue to build momentum in marine energy.</p>