Scotland Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse has called on the UK government to put renewable energy at the heart of its industrial strategy.
The landmark policy due to be released on Monday should promote “the clear and very substantial economic benefits (renewables) brings to communities and the country as a whole”, said the minister.
Wheelhouse questioned Westminster’s commitment to renewables, which he called “a major industrial player” in Scotland that employs 14,000 people with an annual turnover of more than £5.4bn in 2014.
He said: “Our record on supporting renewables is strong and further evidence of our commitment will come in the draft Energy Strategy that I will publish next week.
“Scotland’s renewable sector, and all who work in it or who supply the sector, need the same level of commitment from the UK government which, despite our repeated calls, has failed to match our level of ambition and indeed since the 2015 general election they have cut support dramatically for hydro and wind energy projects.”
He added the country has a pipeline of consented projects awaiting final investment decisions. “I would like to see these projects, which would provide hundreds of millions of pounds of engineering and construction activity, developed at the earliest opportunity and at the lowest cost to the consumer.”