Scotland is on course to meet the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs from clean energy sources.

Renewable sources provided 74.6% of gross electricity consumption in 2018.

These welcome figures would have you believe that there is a successful and unproblematic transition to the green energy revolution but don’t be deceived because our renewables energy sector is in chaos.

Unite fully supports a “just transition” from fossil fuels to clean energy but this has to be on the basis that there are green energy jobs to transition to or we are in danger of repeating the misery of de-industrialisation endured in the 1980s.

Claims that developing a low-carbon economy would create upwards of 130,000 jobs have turned out to be fanciful.

Instead, taxpayers are subsidising foreign firms to produce green energy which is supplied to Scottish homes at inflated prices and the work is being done thousands of miles away and shipped back to Scotland on carbon-emitting container ships.

The next large-scale project to be announced at any moment by EDF, the French state-owned energy company, is the £2 billion Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore windfarm off the coast of Fife.

The windfarm is projected to generate enough electricity to power a city the size of Edinburgh.

It should be a fantastic opportunity to get the BiFab yards at Methil and Burntisland in Fife, and also in Arnish, back to work.

However, it has been widely reported that EDF is on the brink of awarding the contract for constructing the jackets to the Italian industrial giant Saipem.

The vast majority of the jackets, which support and anchor the offshore wind turbines to the seabed, are rumoured to be thereafter going to Saipem’s Indonesian yards.

The BiFab yards based less than 10 miles away from where the jackets will be installed will be left fighting for scraps from the table.

People previously employed by the yards will be able to literally see the Indonesian-manufactured jackets from their kitchen window as the profits get sent to Italy.

The French government, through EDF, seem to have a bigger say in Scotland’s renewables sector than our own government in Holyrood.

The potential NnG scandal follows the previous announcement by the Belgian procurement firm GeoSea DEME on the Moray East project to award contracts for 100 turbine jackets to the United Arab Emirates fabricators Lamprell and Belgian steel constructors Smulders, who will then further subcontract their work to yards in Belgium, Spain and the north-east of England.

The BiFab yards unsuccessfully bid for the work. In Kincardine, despite the best efforts of BiFab once again, the fabrication work for five platforms supporting the project was awarded by procurement firm Cobra Wind International to the Spanish state shipbuilders Navantia, who were €390 million in the red last year: another European state, through a company it has a significant stake in, winning renewables contracts here in Scotland.

Both the Moray East and Kincardine offshore windfarm projects have a value of around £2.8 billion.

It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the billions of pounds’ worth of contracts being awarded and then sub-contracted all around the world to be installed in our shores and land.

Last week, the latest example of the chaotic nature of our renewables sector was exposed as the Campbeltownbased company, CS Wind, announced that three quarters of its workforce have been served notice.

The factory is the only UK facility manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers.

The South Korean owners purchased the company in April 2016. As part of a complex set of partnership arrangements, the Danish firm Ørsted made a multi-million pound investment in the facility in December 2016 which gave it preferred access rights to towers for its offshore windfarms.

In addition, CS Wind signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swedish company Vattenfall giving the company the opportunity to tender for tower supply contracts on future Vattenfall onshore windfarm projects. A virtual smorgasbord of multinational interests is calling the shots in our country’s renewables sector while politicians in our own shores sit back and say their hands are tied.

Accordingly, Unite is calling for the Scottish Government to immediately reconvene its Offshore Wind Summit in order to try a get a grip on the sector. The strategic chaos has allowed billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, through the subsidies the sector has received, to be reaped by foreign governments and multinationals rather than by Scottish-based firms.

The fact is, there have been minimal green manufacturing jobs directly created in Scotland. Unless government intervenes to ensure major proportions of future contracts are awarded to Scottish and UK firms through specific contractual clauses then by the time Scotland generates 100% of our energy needs through renewables we will, ironically, have created zero manufacturing jobs in the process.

- Pat Rafferty is the Scottish Secretary for Unite