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[MALE] Scotland will help the Maldives in developing the country’s huge potential in renewable marine energy.

A study of the archipelagic country’s wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy will be conducted by Scotland’s Robert Gordon University to establish the potential before adaptations are made.

Scotland’s energy minister Jim Mather met with the Maldivian environment minister Mohamed Aslam at Cancun, Mexico, last month (22 July) and pledged support for the Indian Ocean country's battle against climate change.

"Scotland is making a big difference for a small country. The Maldives aims to be carbon neutral within ten years and this study will use our low carbon expertise to help the Maldives meet the challenges of climate change," Mather said.

Scotland is a leader in marine energy with significant planned investment in the sector and runs the unique £10 million (US$16.3 million) Saltire Prize for commercial breakthroughs in wave and tidal energy.  Aslam stated that the partnership with Scotland "will help the Maldives attain its goal of being the world's first carbon neutral country by 2020".

The Maldives is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices and finding renewable energy solutions is essential for its future economic development.