WIND turbines helped generate more than £5.5 billion turnover for Scotland’s renewables industry, the latest UK Government figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals turnover from renewable energy activity reached £5.45m in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available.

Jobs in offshore wind were up 300 per cent to 2000 against a major drop in headcount in solar projects. The 75 per cent reduction takes headcount in that area to just 500 in the wake of Westminster subsidy cuts announced one year earlier. Meanwhile, around 8000 people are employed in onshore wind.

Calling for comprehensive support from Westminster, which controls energy policy, Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive at industry body Scottish Renewables, warned: “The rise in employment in the offshore wind and renewable heat sectors illustrates the huge boost to jobs and investment that is possible when technologies are given the right backing by government.

“For these benefits to continue and grow, the whole industry needs to see that level of political commitment.

“The decline in employment in the solar industry shows clearly the impact of cuts to UK Government support for the sector.

“We would expect that future editions of this ONS survey will show declines in other areas caused by similar decisions made at Westminster.”