A TECHNOLOGY development body set up to encourage innovation in the wave energy industry will not provide jobs on the same scale as a wave power company which has gone into administration, MSPs have been told.

Wave Energy Scotland will bring the best engineering and academic minds together to work on furthering wave technology, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said.

It has been set up as it was announced Edinburgh-based Pelamis Wave Power, which designs, manufactures and operates wave energy converters which it has been testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, has gone into administration after failing to secure enough funding to develop its technology.

Speaking at Holyrood, Mr Ewing said that some of Pelamis' 56 staff would be offered employment at Wave Energy Scotland but it would not be possible to provide opportunities for all of them.

"I am aware that the employees of Pelamis are some of the most advanced in terms of the engineering solutions for the wave energy sector," he said.

"Wave Energy Scotland will be able to provide opportunities for employment for some of those experts in the sector. It will not be possible for Wave Energy Scotland to employ the numbers on the scale of the head count at Pelamis. But we do hope to seek to retain the best brains in Scotland."

Mr Ewing's comments came as opposition MSPs urged the Scottish Government to do all it can to help the firm. Greens MSP Alison Johnstone said: "We hear so much about Scotland's renewable energy potential but we will not reap the rewards without support to turn research into commercially-ready technology. I urge the Scottish Government to use every possible means to support Pelamis and its employees."