Energy giants have underlined how much money they expect to make in Scotland’s renewables business amid accusations the UK Government is failing the industry, as Humza Yousaf magicked up £500 million to boost the faltering green jobs drive.

After TotalEnergies confirmed that all 114 turbines at the Seagreen Wind Farm off the Angus coast are now fully operational the French firm’s boss, Patrick Pouyanné, lauded the project as a landmark in the development of a world-class, cost-competitive portfolio of renewable energy. He said the assets will help the company achieve the profit targets set for its energy operations, which also include significant North Sea oil and gas interests.

The start of full production from the windfarm was hailed by Mr Yousaf who repeated the SNP Government mantra that renewables will power economic growth for Scotland while securing a big reduction in emissions.

"The Seagreen offshore windfarm is a fantastic example of the work being done to unleash Scotland’s renewable potential, as we seek to lead the world in the transition to net zero,” declared the first minister.

Reiterating the Government’s commitment to a just transition from oil and gas dependence for workers, he added: “We are determined to maximise the economic opportunity Scotland’s offshore wind potential presents.”

Scottish energy giant SSE, which developed Seagreen with TotalEnergies, boasted that the project team had set new records through the installation of the world’s deepest fixed-bottom foundations at the site. It could provide a model for future developments in deeper waters.

READ MORE: $1bn takeover of Lanarkshire windfarms owner shows appeal of Scottish renewables assets

Amid the euphoria, it might seem churlish to sound a negative note but one notable fact about Seagreen was overlooked in last week’s PR blurb. In 2020 SSE signed a deal under which the turbine blades for the windfarm would be made on the Isle of Wight by a venture formed by Vestas of Denmark and Japan’s Mitsubishi. That meant they had to be transported hundreds of miles to the windfarm in an operation that must have resulted in a fair amount of carbon being emitted.

The apparent snub to Scotland provided a painful example of how wrong enthusiasts were in their assumption that renewable activity in Scotland would be bound to generate big economic benefits. The jobs bonanza Scotland was predicted to be set for has failed to materialise.

The high-profile failure of turbine manufacturing and support operations at Campbeltown and Burntisland in 2021 raised big questions about the future of the industry in Scotland. The SNP Government insisted it could not provide the help some said it should have offered for the Burntisland Fabrications business because of limits on state aid imposed by the EU, which it is keen for Scotland to rejoin.

Last week Mr Yousaf appeared convinced the Government he leads could make the difference as he told the SNP conference he was launching a £500 million offshore wind supply chain fund.

Mr Yousaf said the fund will “anchor a new offshore wind supply chain right here in Scotland”. It will be a “catalyst for additional private investment in our ports and harbours, supporting inward investment and encouraging domestic companies to seek new opportunities.”

Around 15 years after former first minister Alex Salmond claimed Scotland could become the Saudi Arabia of the offshore renewables business, some might find it strange that the SNP Government has only now decided the country needs to develop a wind supply chain.

READ MORE: Scottish Government dithers as investors cash in on renewables boom

£500m is the kind of big number the Government likes to pluck out of the air to show it is serious about tackling issues which matter to voters in its heartlands.

In 2021 it launched a £500m Just Transition Fund to support communities in the North East and Moray that will be affected by the expected decline in the oil and gas industry.  During the 2014 independence campaign led by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon the SNP said North Sea oil and gas would fuel a prosperous future for Scotland. In the draft energy strategy published in January following long delays, the Scottish Government said there should be a presumption against new exploration in the North Sea.

The Just Transition Fund appears to have achieved little so far with ministers coming under fire from environmentalist for directing much of the money allotted to date to companies backed by the fossil fuel industry.

A Scottish Government spokesperson confirmed last week that the £500m offshore wind supply chain funding will be additional to the Just Transition money.

In response to a request for details of what the funding will be used for, the spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is working with its public and private sector partners to deliver strategic investment which will stimulate and support private investment in the infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of Scotland’s world-leading offshore wind sector.”

The reference to partners may ring alarm bells in some quarters.

In the formal announcement of the launch of the fund, the Scottish Government said Investment of up to £500 million is expected to be delivered through the Scottish National Investment Bank and enterprise agencies, over the next five years.

Founded in 2020 under an initiative that was launched by Alex Salmond years ago, the investment bank has faced repeated criticism for its failure to make an impact.

READ MORE: Funds wasted on £2bn Scottish National Investment Bank could be used to insulate thousands of homes

Its first chief executive Eilidh Mactaggart quit in February last year. It took 14 months for the Government to appointment a replacement for Ms Mactaggart, asset management sector veteran Al Denholm.

The wind supply chain fund launch comes after the UK Government faced flak recently for its record on promoting offshore wind development.

Sector giants boycotted the latest round of applications for Contract for Difference support because they said the aid on offer was not generous enough following increases in costs.

In July Vattenfall shelved work on a huge windfarm off Norfolk.

Some worried about the implications for projects that are expected to be developed following the ScotWind licensing round completed last year. The Scottish Government has claimed this will deliver up to £25 billion of investment across Scotland’s supply chain.

READ MORE: Scottish windfarm boom hopes fade as giants cool on key projects

But TotalEnergies’ comments about the expected profitability of its Seagreen operations underline how generous the official backing provided for firms has been. Seagreen will benefit from CFD support.

SSE last week announced that it had started to generate power from the world’s biggest windfarm, Dogger Bank, off Yorkshire with Norway’s Equinor. Dogger Bank will benefit from CFD support. It has an expected operational life of 35 years.

Undeterred by Vattenfall’s prevarication, in September SSE started community consultations on a potential additional phase of Dogger Bank.