SUPPORT for renewable energy is a “UK success story,” the government claims – despite “inaction” being linked to the collapse of a turbine firm.

Gaia-Wind, which has customers around the world, announced it had appointed provisional liquidators on Tuesday, with the Glasgow firm’s failure attributed in part to cuts to UK Government renewables subsidies in 2015.

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Industry body Scottish Renewables called it a “blow” to domestic manufacturing and proof that Westminster energy policy is having “very real effects” on the sector.

Yesterday trade organisation RenewableUK added its voice, calling government decision-making a “key factor” in the fall of one of the sector’s “best-known and most iconic companies”. The Feed-In Tariff – designed to encourage renewable power by rewarding the generation and export of power from green devices – is due to close to new applicants next March and RenewableUK says the failure to set out future policy is “having a serious impact”.

Executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “We have warned officials time and again that a failure to treat this issue as urgent puts jobs at risk.

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“These are local jobs created by British entrepreneurs. We need clarity on the future of small-scale renewables as soon as possible”.

Efforts are under way to find a buyer for all or part of Gaia-Wind, which employs 12 people and moved its small turbine manufacturing operation from Denmark to Scotland seven years ago.

Yesterday the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy told The National it is “considering options” for the sector beyond 2019, stating: “Our support for small scale renewables is a UK success story, with £100 million of funding for small scale renewables being made available between 2016 and 2019.

“We are committed to the growth of the renewable energy sector, which already provides 25 per cent of the electricity for the UK.

“However UK consumers are funding this investment through their energy bills and as the costs of renewable technologies have fallen it is right that government subsidies have reduced in line with this to make sure we have a sustainable funding model now and into the future.”

However, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, who represents the area where Gaia-Wind is based, said: “The backwards decision to cut subsidies for the renewables sector has hampered growth in a vital industry of the future that experts say will be more cost-effective than nuclear power.

“For Scotland to maintain a strong renewables sector, environment and energy policy must be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.”

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: ‘I was very concerned to learn that Gaia-Wind has entered administration and appreciate this will be a very difficult time for affected staff and their families.

“Scottish Enterprise has been working with the management of Gaia-Wind to explore all possible avenues of support. However, unfortunately, a solution could not be found to turn the company’s situation around and there is no doubt that significant changes in support mechanisms for onshore wind have had a very detrimental impact on product demand.

“Our multi-agency PACE team stands ready to offer their full support to affected staff if any redundancies proceed. By providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to help those affected by redundancy to get back into work as quickly as possible.

“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, which has axed support for onshore wind projects,  will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure.”