More than £164 million has been invested in the Scottish economy through the offshore wind sector, according to new figures.
Industry body Scottish Renewables asked its members in developing projects in Scottish waters how much they had invested to date.
The results showed that £164.5m of investment has been made, with £65m in 2012 alone, with the figure representing all contracts awarded by developers with Scottish companies in advance of any consents being awarded to their projects.
Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for offshore renewables at Scottish Renewables, said: "This level of investment, made in advance of their projects gaining consents, shows the considerable level of confidence developers have in Scotland's offshore wind sector. Most of this current investment has been made in research, such as environmental surveys, technical engineering surveys and project demonstration.
"However, this flow of private finance is also generating huge opportunities for the supply chain, and once consents for projects are granted this will both motivate new entrants and strengthen those existing companies who are already reaping the benefit of diversifying into this emerging sector."
Some of the investments have begun, with jobs already created, while other proposals are at an earlier stage of development. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the figures. "Offshore wind is an exciting emerging energy sector, still in its infancy but with great potential to transform how we power modern economies while reducing harmful emissions from electricity generation," he said.
"The Scottish Government has moved quickly to work with the energy industry and ensure local communities are equipped to seize the huge employment and investment opportunities ahead. I'm delighted with the early success of the offshore wind sector and determined that we use all the levers available to us to maximise Scotland's role in this global endeavour."
The new figures are published in Offshore Wind: Investing in Scotland, ahead of Scotland's largest offshore wind conference and exhibition in Aberdeen this week.
Andy McDonald, renewables director at Scottish Enterprise, said: "These latest figures underline the progress made to date in getting initial projects off the ground and creating opportunities for Scottish businesses entering the offshore wind supply chain. We and our partners have been working hard to create the optimum conditions for investors and Scottish business alike by developing the business environment and supporting the development of a strong supply chain."
Lang Banks, WWF Scotland director, said: "This news underlines that Scotland has become the place to come to develop marine renewable energy technology, including offshore wind. With our offshore engineering skills, our huge wind and wave power resources and strong renewables targets, Scotland has a bright future in clean, green energy. With careful planning we can harness Scotland's offshore wind energy to help cut our climate emissions while safeguarding the nation's tremendous marine environment."