One in six jobs in the renewable energy sector are expected to be lost in the next year, according to a new industry survey.

The Scottish Renewables study found businesses in the industry predict full-time equivalent posts in Scotland will drop 16.9% in the next 12 months.

Its Employment Trends and Business Confidence survey also asked respondents how they feel about the future of the renewables sector more generally over the coming year.

More than four in 10 (41%) said they feel either quite or very negative, while the same number said they are "neutral" about the year ahead.

The organisation has called for action from the UK Government to address the issues and boost confidence in the sector.

Director of policy Jenny Hogan said: "These results show that changes to and closures of support schemes are having an impact on our members and on the numbers of employees within their businesses.

"The UK Government is rightly excited about the economic opportunities presented by the impacts of the global shift to low-carbon energy, but it's really important we don't forget about the jobs in our renewable energy sector today.

"Onshore wind and solar are the two cheapest forms of electricity, but ministers are refusing to allow them to access long term contracts for power, which will result in a marked slowdown in investment and a decrease in employment, as our survey has suggested.

"For Scotland's renewable energy industry to continue providing jobs and ever-greater reductions in carbon emissions, Government must act quickly to give companies the confidence they need to keep investing in our sector."

The survey also found more respondents feel positive about the future of their own businesses over the next 12 months than negative.

Almost half (47%) said they are either very positive or quite positive, while 32% are either very negative or quite negative.

Around a fifth said they feel neutral.

The SurveyMonkey poll was completed by 46 companies within the Scottish Renewables membership between February 6 and 19.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "These are worrying findings and underline the urgent need for the UK Government to clarify its plans to support renewables and the thousands of people now employed in the sector.

"Scotland has incredible natural renewable energy resources, but if it is to maximise the economic opportunities on offer, the UK Government must provide energy companies with a clear route to market.

"However, given we're part of the GB energy market, this is not just an issue for Scotland. As a net exporter of electricity, Scotland plays a key role in helping the whole of the UK in cutting its carbon emissions.

"If we are to be able to plug in to the cheapest and cleanest forms of power generation then it's vital our political leaders north and south of the border do all they can to support renewables."

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The Scottish Government is absolutely determined to ensure that Scotland's renewable energy sector continues to grow because of the clear and very substantial economic benefits it brings to communities and the country as a whole.

"Our record on supporting renewables is strong - something acknowledged by industry itself and by the UK Committee on Climate Change.

"We are determined to help support the sector in the face of destabilising, ill-judged policy changes made since 2015 by the Conservative UK Government; indeed, we have strengthened our own commitment in our draft Scottish Energy Strategy.

"Scotland's renewable energy sector, and all who work in it or who supply the sector, are highly valued by myself and fellow Scottish ministers, but the sector needs the same level of commitment from the UK Government which, despite our repeated calls, has utterly failed to match our level of ambition and, indeed, since the 2015 general election they have made dramatic, unwarranted cuts to support for hydro and wind energy projects.

"The UK Government has an opportunity to put an end to this damaging uncertainty by placing renewable investment at the very heart of their long awaited industrial strategy and by allowing key technologies, such as onshore wind, which is already cheaper than nuclear power, a viable route to compete in the market. If they do not, and jobs are lost in the industry, the people of Scotland will hold them to account for neglecting the needs of a key sector in our economy."

A UK Government spokeswoman said: "The renewables industry has been a strong success in Scotland thanks to UK Government support, worth £730m per year. In our last funding round over 40% of successful UK projects were based in Scotland."