UK ministers have been warned Scotland is missing out on a “bonanza of secure jobs in green energy” by a failure to be more ambitious about scaling up renewables.

Analysis by a leading environmental think tank has revealed that an additional 2,500 green jobs could be created in Scotland if the UK Government accelerated its push to ramp up the renewables sector.

Under the UK Government’s energy security strategy, published in April, ministers have set plans to scale up renewables, including up to 50GW from offshore wind and is set to loosen planning rules in England to encourage a take-up of onshore renewables projects.

The Scottish Government is set to publish its delayed updated energy strategy later this year and has pledged to scale up renewables to replace the need for new North Sea oil and gas projects.

But the Green Alliance think tank has carried out analysis on the UK strategy – warning that thousands of additional jobs could be established in Scotland if plans are accelerated.

The analysis shows that under the UK Government’s current plans, set out in its latest strategy, 1,655 new jobs will be created across Scotland in low carbon energy including offshore wind.

But if more ambitious plans to decarbonise the power grid with a greater focus on onshore wind are taken forward by the UK Government, the number of new jobs will more than double in Scotland, with an additional 2,501 positions created.

The Scottish Government has failed to hit its targets for green jobs.

SNP ministers has faced criticism after a promise of 130,000 green jobs by 2020 has only resulted in little more than 20,000 people being hired.

Sam Alvis, head of economy at Green Alliance, said: “Scotland stands to gain massively from a clean energy system. Onshore wind, in particular, could drive a shift to higher skilled and therefore better paid work for people.”

“One of the key blockers to the expansion of onshore wind in England is the planning system. But the Scottish government has the levers to lead the charge on renewables with huge benefits for workers and communities.”

He added: “Lower prices is only one way to tackle the cost of living, the other is to get people into better paid more secure jobs. Thankfully, a national mission on low carbon energy will do both.

“But the government needs to unleash the potential of green energy to create a bonanza of secure jobs in green energy and support businesses and workers to get the skills they need.”

The Green Alliance analysis found that an “accelerated” strategy would require up to 35GW of onshore wind capacity across the UK.

It added: “The UK will need around 4,300 additional highly skilled workers to operate and maintain onshore capacity to meet targets under this pathway, but over 2,500 of these will be concentrated in Scotland.

"If the regional concentration of future onshore wind capacity follows the distribution of current onshore infrastructure, nearly 60 per cent of future operation and maintenance jobs would be in Scotland."

SNP energy spokesperson Alan Brown, said: “This report makes clear that if the UK Government’s energy strategy was more ambitious in terms of renewables and accelerated, it could produce an additional 2,500 green jobs in Scotland.

“This is another example of the UK Government holding Scotland, our climate change ambitions, and the people who live here, back.

“Just this week we’ve seen the effects of the climate crisis on the UK and it has made it crystal clear that Scotland cannot afford to be held back by Westminster. Only independence will allow us to reach our climate targets and play our part in tackling the global crisis.

“Offshore wind is rapidly becoming one of the cheapest forms of electricity and Scotland has some of the most extensive renewable generation capabilities in Europe with which to accelerate our just transition to net zero.

"The UK’s energy security strategy was an ideal opportunity for the UK Government to combat the dual climate and cost of living crisis - they failed on both fronts."

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government has increased the amount of renewable energy capacity connected to the grid by 500% since 2010 – more than any other government in British history.

"Going further, earlier this month, the UK Government secured an additional 11GW of clean, affordable, home-grown power through our flagship renewable auction scheme.

“We have clear strategies in place that will support up to 190,000 jobs in the middle of the 2020s and around 480,000 in 2030, including thousands of jobs across Scotland.”