Scotland’s tenth Green Energy Awards celebrated the successes of the renewables industry last night with the largest ever ceremony.

Among the winners were First Minister, Alex Salmond, for Best Politician and Richard Yemm, founder of wave power company, Pelamis, for his outstanding contribution to the industry.

The Scottish Green Energy Awards, sponsored by RWE npower and organised by Scottish Renewables, was held at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

In a pre-recorded speech, the First Minister thanked the 950-strong audience for giving him the Best Politician award.

Mr Salmond, who is currently in China,  said:- “I am absolutely determined that this country of ours, just as it powered and invented the industrial revolution, is going to invest, design, engineer, fabricate, construct, maintain and install the great energy machines that are going to dominate this coming century.

“I know there are sceptics, and folk that say it can’t be done, but of course it can be done.

He told the audience:- “Every single one of us should dedicate ourselves to the task that Scotland will lead the world in the new energy systems that will power this country in a way which is compatible with the future of this planet.”

Richard Yemm, Chief Technical Officer of Pelamis Wave Power, was awarded Outstanding Contribution for his invention. Among many achievements Pelamis, based in Leith, has supplied and commissioned the first multiple machine wave farm and is the world’s first to export electricity from a wave energy device to the grid onshore.

Glasgow-based Gaia-Wind were presented with the award for Best Business Growth, after they successfully increased sales from one turbine per week in December 2009 to around 250 in 2011 and are aiming to double this in 2012. Since moving their headquarters from Denmark to Glasgow in 2006, Gaia-Wind has generated more than 30 jobs in the UK, as well as supporting the local supply chain.

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “These awards are the culmination of a year’s hard work and fantastic achievements for the renewables industry in Scotland.

“The winners reflect the huge strength in Scotland’s renewable energy industry, and the range of different types of projects from new community wind developments to cutting-edge wave and tidal devices. All of them will make their own important contribution to Scotland’s ambitions for renewables and in creating jobs, promoting investment and in cutting carbon emissions over the coming years.”

Mr Stuart added: “2011 has been incredibly important for the sector with the setting of a new 2020 renewable energy target, significant announcements of investment from Doosan, Gamesa, Mitsubishi and strategic acquisitions by Scottish businesses such as the Weir Group and Clyde Blowers.

“In the last twelve months the renewables sector has invested £75 million in Scotland and those projects in planning could bring a further £46 billion in the next ten years. The renewables industry has a lot to celebrate and the Scottish Green Energy Awards are a great way for us to do just that.”