The Scottish Government must not hide behind state aid rules for its failure to support renewable energy jobs, the Scottish Greens have said.
In a statement to MSPs, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the government had no legal options to prevent renewables construction contracts being sent overseas.
However, Ms Hyslop responded positively to the suggestion from Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell that the Scottish Government should become a majority shareholder in Bifab.
Speaking afterwards, Scottish Greens energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “There are plenty of examples across Europe of countries protecting their own supply chain through smart investments, so ministers cannot continue to hide behind state aid rules. Besides, these rules are changing anyway.
“Indeed, the SNP made the same argument when it came to Scotrail, but we have just seen the Welsh government nationalise their rail operator.
“The majority shareholder of EDF is the French government. The Scottish Government should do the same here with a national energy company and majority shareholdings in firms like BiFab. There is an enormous amount of potential in the number of wind energy contracts coming, and we need to make sure Scotland is ready to fulfil that potential.
“The transition to green energy must come with a jobs guarantee, not leave our communities behind. The minister is right that contracts for difference is reserved, but there is a lot the Scottish Government can do.”