Even as it made an embarrassing climb down on its climate change targets the Scottish Government had the nerve last week to try to rekindle fading hopes of a green industrial boom.

Following high drama at Holyrood, the SNP Government found its credibility in tatters after deciding  to axe its target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030.

The target was an essential element of a plan that was meant to see Scotland racing to net zero by 2045 leaving neighbouring countries trailing in its wake. Boris Johnson aimed to put the UK on course to achieve net zero in 2050.

However, the SNP Government conceded last week that it didn’t have a hope of meeting the 2030 target, which the Climate Change Committee had told ministers ages ago was unrealistic.

The decision to scrap the target sparked fury among members of the Scottish Greens on whom the SNP has relied to prop up the administration it leads and to bang the drum for independence.

Green activists want a vote on whether the party should withdraw from the power-sharing agreement struck with former SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon three years ago.

READ MORE: SNP Government must turn grand words on climate into action

While economy secretary Mairi McAllan insisted the Scottish Government was not embarrassed about dropping the 2030 target, SNP supporters tried to put the blame on Westminster as per. They claimed the problem was lack of investment by Tory governments.

But Friends of the Earth Scotland said the fault lay with the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish Government’s repeated failure to bring in policies like improved public transport and better insulation and heating and homes has meant carbon emissions have not been reduced in line with the legal commitments,” said the campaigning group.

The saga provides another glaring example of the Scottish Government’s inability to deliver on big promises that it finds easy to make.

Auditor general Stephen Boyle has lamented a “major implementation gap between policy ambitions and delivery on the ground” in Scotland.

The weakness has been most obvious when it comes to climate change and the industries needed to help address it.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf's green jobs boast rings hollow as boom hopes fade

Since the days of Alex Salmond SNP Governments have claimed that Scotland could be a world leader in the global renewables industry and that it was set for a jobs bonanza.

Ministers seem to feel success is inevitable because it is often windy in Scotland, much of the country is surrounded by water and its universities employ a lot of scientists.

The Government put renewables at the heart of the energy strategy which it published last year following delays in draft form.

This recommended a presumption against oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, although Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond long argued the industry could power Scotland to independence.

There has been huge investment in windfarms off Scotland and onshore.

However, the beneficiaries have mainly been firms based outside Scotland.

READ MORE: Failing smart meters scheme subsidises rich after energy bills soar

While the Scottish Government has made policy announcements galore it has been unable to ensure that the country has developed the industrial capacity required to capitalise on renewables investment.

First Minister Humza Yousaf added to the mix in October when he launched a £500m offshore wind supply fund.

Weeks later he hailed figures that showed full-time employment in renewables increased from 27,000 to 42,000 over the last year. The trouble was the figures related to 2021. They came from a report by Fraser of Allander Institute economists at the University of Strathclyde who said a “moderately large” margin of error applied to the estimates and cautioned against their “overinterpretation”.

The overall figure includes 15,000 offshore wind jobs. In 2010 a report for Scottish Enterprise found offshore wind could create 28,000 jobs by 2020.

Yet the day before Ms Mcallan announced the emissions target cut last week the Scottish Government trumpeted the progress it was making in the drive to achieve net zero and on the green industries front.

READ MORE: Scots engineering giant under fire as stock market 'curse' hits country

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison announced the signing of a floating wind partnership between Scottish enterprise agencies and South Korean giant Hyundai, which she said provided a big vote of confidence in the country.

The agreement could see Hyundai develop manufacturing facilities in Scotland that would be used to produce components for the floating windfarms that the Scottish Government hopes will be developed off Scotland.

A range of firms that won licences in the landmark ScotWind round in 2022 appeared keen to develop floating windfarms although they made clear it could be years before any start to produce power.

Successful bidders included overseas financiers and industrial giants.

Noting that up to £24.5m taxpayer funding would be provided to support the Hyundai deal, Ms Robison said: “This collaboration will play a key role in helping Scotland meet its climate targets.”

She added: “Scotland’s offshore wind sector is key to our transition to net zero and this partnership is the next step forward in realising the economic opportunities from our floating offshore wind potential.”

The Scottish Government is prepared to commit big sums to make floating wind a success, or to say it will. That may be at least partly because Scotland missed out on the opportunities created by the development of platforms fixed to the seabed.

READ MORE: Cost inflation hits hopes for hydrogen in Scotland

But industry leaders have sounded clear warnings that floating wind may not deliver the miracle that SNP ministers hope for.

In February Danish renewables giant Orsted announced plans to axe up to 800 jobs as it scaled back expansion plans amid concern about the costs of floating wind projects.

The company helped generate excitement about floating wind by bidding successfully for a ScotWind lease. It plans to develop a huge floating windfarm 30 miles east off Wick on the Caithness coast with Falck Renewables and Blue Float Energy.

Chief executive Mads Nipper told the FT in February: "I think there are quite a few indicators that at least at scale floating will be on a somewhat later time [frame]"

Mr Nipper highlighted the lack of mature floating platform concepts and noted that increases in interest rates had raised serious questions about the profitability of potential developments.

The tone of the sober assessment contrasts markedly with the bullish view expressed by Orsted when it was awarded the ScotWind lease in January 2022.

Head of UK region Duncan Clark said at the time: "Scotland has some of the best offshore wind potential in the world and the ScotWind leasing round is a unique opportunity for Scotland to become a global leader in offshore floating wind."

READ MORE: Minnow that made big find with Shell highlights tax threat to North Sea investment

When Shell bid successfully for ScotWind leases with ScottishPower the then head of its gas and renewables business, Wael Sawan, said floating wind played to the company’s strengths in deeper offshore projects.

After becoming chief executive of Shell last year Mr Sawan told analysts: “In floating wind we clearly have some opportunities to be able to leverage capabilities … but the broader context is can we make the economics work?”

The Scottish Government will not let that sort of practical consideration get in the way of high-flown policy announcements.