SCOTLAND must be given back control of a scheme backing new onshore wind farms after being betrayed by Westminster, the SNP has said.

The UK Government wants to scrap subsidies for new onshore turbines under the renewables obligation (RO) by April – a year earlier than planned – in an attempt to save millions of pounds.

But Callum McCaig, the SNP’s energy and climate change spokesman, told MPs the Scottish Government only agreed to return its decision-making power over the project under the explicit understanding no changes would take place. He argued this power should be re-devolved given the changes being pushed through by the Conservatives via the Energy Bill.

Peers have previously voted to remove the early closure of the RO from the Bill although it has been reinserted in the Commons, with the Government insisting it is a 2015 general election manifesto commitment from the Tories.

Speaking during the Bill’s report stage, McCaig moved an amendment returning the power to close the RO to Scottish ministers. He said: “That power was re-reserved so to speak under the explicit understanding that there would be no changes – there would be no closure, there would be no material impact to Scotland from agreeing to that proposal.

“The proposal had intended, at the time, to allow for the closure later on next year as had been previously agreed for the renewables obligation.”

McCaig added: “I think there’s an element of trust and betrayal of trust that has come into this agreement.”

Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry) said many of his colleagues would like to see the SNP commit to paying for the RO requirement should the power be returned, noting: “There’s only half of that in this particular amendment.”

McCaig, intervening, said: “Would you accept we will be paying the extortionate price for your party’s nuclear power if you get your way?”

Heaton-Harris replied: “If we’re talking about paying for things, I wonder how the SNP would have paid for their proposals had they gone independent on an oil price that is residing at about 30 to 40 dollars a barrel.”

Labour called for the closure of renewable obligation subsidies for onshore wind to be delayed for a year to March 2017.

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead warned that stating that it will close on March 31 this year could leave the Government open to legal challenge if the Bill is bogged down in parliamentary ping pong between the Commons and Lords and does not become law before that date.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom insisted the closure should apply across Great Britain and would have no effect on business. “Far from Government policy actually putting investors off investing in renewable energies in the UK, in fact it seems that significant investment is still coming forward.”

She added: “It is imperative that the early closure applies consistently across Great Britain in order to protect consumers from the risk of over-deployment beyond what has been agreed as affordable.”

She said in 2015/2016 about £520 million (about 60 per cent) of RO support will go towards funding Scottish onshore wind farms, despite only 10 per cent of taxpayers living in Scotland.

Labour’s bid to delay the closure of renewable obligation subsidies for onshore wind was defeated, with MPs voting 270 to 183 to stick to the original date.

McCaig later withdrew his amendment on returning RO powers to Scotland. The SNP front bencher also called for the Government to bring forward a “proper, well-thought-out and well-consulted” strategy for carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).

A £1 billion CCS fund – a competition which aimed to find ways to limit pollution from power stations – was scrapped last year.

McCaig said: “We have seen the Government be all over the shop when it comes to carbon capture and storage.”

He criticised the impact of the “severe mixed-messages” on investor confidence.