Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy and energy committee, is welcoming figures showing growth in employment in the renewables industry in Scotland.

Research by Scottish Renewables suggests 11,695 people are currently in full-time jobs in the sector, up five per cent on the previous year, with Glasgow, the Lothians, Highlands & Islands and the North East employing the most people.

Alison said:

"With Scotland's natural assets it's heartening to see the renewable energy industry continuing to grow. We're seeing the creation of highly-skilled, secure jobs across the country, and we must encourage more of this type of employment. We must also strive to ensure that women form part of this growing workforce."

"We must also be alert to the dangerous distraction that is unconventional gas. The UK Government's tax breaks and the PR hype engineered by vested interests risk locking us in to yet more dirty energy when the opportunity to capitalise on our clean resources has never been more important.

"And I urge the Scottish Government to look at harnessing maximum public benefit from the renewables revolution by supporting the creation of locally-owned energy companies. We must help public bodies and community groups pursue district heating, wind, wave and hydro."