AQUAMARINE Power, the Edinburgh wave energy pioneer, is not facing a withdrawal by SSE despite its largest shareholder announcing a review of its interests in the sector last week.

Perth-based SSE owns 31% of Aquamarine, which has so far spent upwards of £70 million during eight years of trying to commercialise its Oyster wave turbine.

SSE's decision to pull back from plans to develop four 200MW wave and tidal energy farms in waters near Orkney sparked concerns it might also destabilise Aquamarine by seeking to exit. But insiders at the utility indicated its commitment to Aquamarine as a company will not be affected.

Though initial reports suggested SSE would exit the sector altogether, following a meeting with the utility, First Minister Alex Salmond told the Scottish Parliament that SSE would remain involved with three of the four projects it is currently involved with.

But where previously SSE looked likely to oversee and pay the costs of taking each site through the consent process, now this burden will fall on its partners.

Martin McAdam, chief executive of Aquamarine, said: "SSE's review has implications for the industry. It's essentially extending the time before we can deploy projects by a couple of years. But the fact is that the industry is not ready for the next stage."

SSE declined to comment.