A £103 million fund for renewable energy designed to attract more private investment in the sector has been launched.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced plans for a Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh. It will help generate further significant private finance for areas with gaps in funding, he said.
Wave and tidal power, renewable district heating and community-owned renewable technologies will be among the initial priorities for the fund, said the Scottish Government.
Mr Salmond also told delegates about an advisory group being set up to support those seeking finance from the UK Green Investment Bank, headquartered in Edinburgh.
Also announced was a £4.3 million Scottish Enterprise investment in Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Renewables's Hunterston offshore wind turbine test facility on the Ayrshire coast.
SSE is spending £15 million in the joint venture which will be capable of hosting three full-scale wind turbines for offshore.
The REIF is said to complement public and private finance schemes with deals typically involving loans, loan guarantees and equity finance alongside co-investment partners. It will be delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank on behalf of the Government and the first deals are expected to be complete by the end of this financial year.
Mr Salmond said: "We are determined to ensure Scotland is among the world's key destinations for investment in low carbon technologies, building on our long-established reputation in engineering, innovation and financial services. This fund will help leverage further significant private finance into key areas of the renewables sector where specific funding gaps have been identified.
"Alongside other initiatives such as the £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation fund, £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure fund and our Community and Renewable Energy Scheme, the REIF will support a wide range of projects to create jobs, investment and sustainable energy generation in communities across Scotland.
"The planned advisory group will provide expert advice for people who have good ideas and projects to put to the Green Investment Bank but who need a helping hand to make them ready for investment."