Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced a £14.3 million budget has been secured for the creation of a wave energy development body to help secure the industry’s future.

During a keynote speech at RenewableUK’s Wave & Tidal energy conference in Edinburgh today, Ewing gave details on the budget for Wave Energy Scotland, along with its business plan, the first call for funding and its programme of activity.

"I am very pleased to offer a significant budget of over £14 million to kick start Wave Energy Scotland," he said. " This is the biggest technology development programme the wave sector has ever seen".

Ewing said 12 former employees of Pelamis Wave Power, which collapsed in November, have been awarded a contract to work with Wave Energy Scotland to utilise their knowledge and skills.

"I am very glad that we were able to deliver on our aspiration to capture the know-how from device development and retain some of the best brains working in marine energy in Scotland," he added.

Ewng’s announcement was welcomed by trade body RenewableUK. The organisation’s Wave & Tidal Development Manager Dee Nunn said the news was a ‘resounding endorsement’ of the enormous potential of the industry at the very time when it’s needed most.

"Following a number of setbacks in recent months, this key announcement will help us to move forward with a renewed sense of confidence," Nunn added. "Wave Energy Scotland looks set to be a key player in terms of technological development. What we need now is for all UK Governments to work together in a closely co-ordinated way to support wave and tidal energy and secure the economic benefits for all parts of the nation. This will help the sector to mature and attract much-needed investment, driving down costs in the long term as we successfully harness one of our most powerful natural resources".