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Scottish Renewables Jobs Are at Risk

07 Mar 17:00 by Steve Walia

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New figures produced by Scottish Renewables have shown that one in six jobs in the green energy sector will be put in jeopardy as a result of changes to government subsidies.

The job losses are likely to be felt in the next year. The trade industry body also found that the majority of renewable energy firms are positive about their futures, as many have already diversified their operations into overseas markets.

At the election, the UK government said that it would be scrapping the existing wind energy subsidy schemes for onshore developments. It said that its support had allowed Scotland to create a strong industry in onshore wind.

Scottish Renewables discovered that its members are predicting a 17pc drop in FTE posts in the coming 12 months. There are currently 21,000 people working in the industry in Scotland.

Its Policy Director, Jenny Hogan, said that the government needed to take action in order to help companies to be confident in making an investment. She said that renewable energy already provided the biggest power source in Scotland and was meeting over 50pc of the country's electricity requirements.

Changing government policies have reduced the size of the market, cut the order book and led to a lesser requirement for staff.

Onshore wind is one of the cheapest energy sources alongside solar, but ministers are still preventing green energy firms from accessing power contracts in the long term. Scottish renewables firms are already seeking opportunities for diversification, including making moves into fresh areas such as low-carbon heat and energy storage and moving into markets overseas.

Scotland has one of the best climates for wind energy in Europe and receives around 40pc of the regions's total winds. It is already a net exporter of electricity, helping the UK to slash its carbon emissions.