THE PRIME Minister has revealed that £20m will be made available for tidal stream industries in Scotland in a surprise announcement during PMQs. 

Boris Johnson was asked by the SNP's Alan Brown if he would risk jobs in the sector going abroad if the UK Government failed to deliver the £71m the industry had asked for. 

In response, Mr Johnson said there would be ringfenced funding made available in the upcoming Contract for Difference funding round, adding that £20m was "not to be sniffed at". 

Alister Jack MP, Scottish Secretary, hailed the "tremendous" move, and said: "Harnessing the powers of our seas is a vital step in our transition to the use of greener, cleaner energy and underlines the UK Government’s commitment to create and protect highly-skilled jobs while on our journey to Net Zero by 2050.

“With strong wind and solar power industries in the UK it is the natural next step to explore our tidal energy capabilities.

"It’s an exciting development in supporting of our domestically-produced renewable energy sources."

The Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael also welcomed the investment, praising the industry for its lobbying efforts. 

He said: "This is excellent news and a testament to the tireless campaign by so many people to get the government on side.

"This is a success that has been years in the making and has the potential to set up tidal stream energy commercialisation – with green growth and jobs in the isles and across the UK – for the years to come.

“I have to pay tribute to Neil Kermode and the team at EMEC in Orkney and Andrew Scott and Orbital Marine in Orkney, amongst many others in the isles and beyond, like Sue Barr of the Marine Energy Council, who have worked in concert to make the case for tidal stream energy.

"By making a full-court press in support of tidal stream – demonstrating that this was not just a hypothetical but a fully-developed business case – they converted sceptics across government to our team.”

He added: "These are the green technologies of the future" and said it was a "no brainer" to fund them.

On the specific amount of cash,which is £51m less than what was sought, he said: "I could quibble over the exact amount given – and of course there will be a great deal of work to be done to get this support into action – but now it is time to recognise a genuine win for the isles and for the country. This is an enormous opportunity for our economy and our environment – and now we can take it.”

The SNP has described the move as a "u-turn" and said it was a result of "months of pressure from the SNP". He was critical of the amount of funding, saying it was not enough "to ensure tidal stream energy can reach its full potential."

"The minimum required was a ring-fenced fund of at least £71million" he continued. 

"Tidal has the potential to be a major Scottish success story and a key part of Scotland's renewable energy revolution - but it can only properly flourish if the UK government delivers the scale of funding required. The UK government must stop hindering this vital green industry."

Mr Blackford has called on Rishi Sunak to invest the full £71m requested and added that he should also reconsider the rejection of a carbon capture and storage facility plan in the North East.

He said: "The Chancellor must increase the budget to at least £71million so world-leading Scottish companies aren't restricted in their ambitions.

"This change of heart must also mark the beginning of a series of U-turns for the UK government - and next up must be an urgent U-turn on the decision to cancel investment in Scotland's carbon capture project."