FORMER energy minister Brian Wilson has attacked the Scottish Government for abandoning nuclear power, warning that a successful energy policy cannot depend on renewable sources alone.

Mr Wilson, who was speaking at a Scottish Engineering event in Glasgow last night, slammed as folly the commitment by the SNP administration to oppose the building of new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

Nuclear power is a reserved matter, but under the Electricity Act 1989 any proposal to build new nuclear power stations north of the Border requires the consent of Scottish ministers.

The SNP Government is committed to generating 100% of Scotland's electricity needs from renewables by 2020.

However Mr Wilson, a former Labour MP for Cunninghame North who served as trade and energy minister under Tony Blair, said it is wrong for Scotland to rely solely on renewables.

Mr Wilson, now a UK business ambassador and chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: "The three pillars of a sensible energy policy are security of supply, affordability and carbon reduction. These cannot be delivered by over-dependence on renewables alone.

"It is regrettable that the Scottish Government has turned its back on nuclear power, which has served Scotland well for 50 years. Part of the foolishness of this policy lies in the fact that whatever we do in renewables will, in carbon reduction terms, only cancel out what we are throwing away by rejecting nuclear power."

Mr Wilson also argued that the perceived boost to Scottish manufacturing from renewables has not materialised.

He added: "Given the vast sums of taxpayers' and consumers' money which subsidises renewable, the remarkable thing is not how many jobs have been created but how few."

Mr Wilson was in Glasgow to present The Scottish Engineering Award to Alexander Dennis, the bus designer and manufacturer.

The company, which employs 900 staff, saw turnover rise by 35% to £500 million in 2012 and is aiming to double that figure by 2020. It enjoys a 50% market share in its domestic market but also exports to a range of countries, including Hong Kong.

President's awards were also presented to six companies, including Castle Precision Engineering (Glasgow), Thales Optronics, JBD Tritec, Steel Engineering, Balmoral Comtec and Allied Vehicles.

The Scottish Engineering/Incorporation of the Hammermen of Glasgow award for a young engineer went to Andrew Ferguson of FMC Technologies.