At last week's Scottish Renewables Conference, the question was raised whether Scotland could make the advances in cost effectiveness needed for technologies like wind and wave to compete, without subsidy, with other energy sources. An interesting response from the floor was to argue in the affirmative on the basis of the cluster of attitudes, skills and resources now benefiting the industry. All the major political parties in Scotland support investment in renewable energy, as does the public. The country also boasts more than half the world's total research in wave and tidal power. The history of oil and gas provides confidence, experience and a stock of energy-related entrepreneurs and investors.