Two areas of sea off Scotland have today been designated as a Marine Energy Park by the UK government.

The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters are off the northern coast of Scotland and include within their waters the European Marine Energy Centre, a world-leading test facility for wave and tidal energy companies.

The government estimates that wave power could generate 27GW of energy in the UK by 2050, equivalent to the output of eight coal fired power stations.

UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Marine power is a growing green clean source of power which has the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15bn to the economy by 2050.

“The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power and we need to really capitalise on this to ensure energy from marine reaches its full potential in our future energy mix.”