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Report shows Scottish renewable energy jobs overestimate

A report by the Auditor General reveals that the job numbers created by Scotland’s renewable energy drive have been hugely overestimated.

It was suggested by the Scottish government that 40,000 jobs would result from the country’s renewable energy efforts, while the actual figure is around 13,000, says the report.

It also estimates that £209 million has been spent on Scotland’s renewable infrastructure over the past 10 years and this figure is expected to increase to £264m by 2015.

Slow progress of some renewable initiatives is due to changes implemented by the UK government and private sector delays, says the Auditor General.

The Scottish government has claimed that in addition to creating 40,000 jobs, its renewable energy drive will continue to create new positions in the future.

Following the Auditor General report, commentators are accusing First Minister Alex Salmond and his ministers of misleading the public over the number of jobs created.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said it is responding to the uncertainty surrounding UK energy policy by “re-profiling our renewables budget, including our flagship Renewable Investment Fund”.

The move is intended to provide the sector with confidence concerning continuing future support.

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