Putting forward 10 new pieces of legislation to Parliament the First Minister set out the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) ambitions to see Scotland control its own economy and benefit from natural resources of water and energy. This includes plans to allow state owned utility Scottish Water – the largest consumer of electrical power in the country – to become a renewable energy generator, utilising its existing land and pipe network to build hydropower and wind projects.

“If we give Scottish Water room to grow, then we have the makings of a great Scottish company, in public ownership,” said Salmond. “Scotland will become the world’s first hydro-economy – wisely exploiting our water to help drive our economy.

“Much as vested interests resisted the Hydro dams, so there will be those who resist a new vision for Scottish Water,” he added. “But Scottish Water can help transform Scotland’s prospects today… As [it] expands its activities it will generate the additional revenue to become financially neutral to the Scottish Government’s books.”

According to national media reports, the company could generate over £300M in extra revenues from renewable power projects.