Deputy first minister Jim Wallace pledged last week that the Scottish Executive will plough significant resources into the strategic environmental assessment, which is due to begin next spring and expected to take more than a year to complete. It is hoped that it will make Scotland a world leader in wind and wave energy and ensure that developments are sustainable.
"To attract new green business we need to provide companies across Europe with evidence of the potential Scotland offers," said Wallace. "The scale of this should not be underestimated. The coastline of Argyll and Bute alone is greater than that of France."
Consultation will take place on the scope of the assessment, which will link in with work by the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
Scottish Renewables spokesman Maf Smith said. "The survey will be welcomed by developers who need this information before they can consider wave and tidal sites around Scotland."