Ministers have been accused of issuing “misleading” figures to give the impression that offshore windfarms were a major source of employment.
It follows the admission by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing that, while the renewables industry and its supply chain is estimated to support 11,136 jobs, just 2,235 were directly connected to onshore wind.
The Scottish Tories said the government has no idea where the jobs are as it could not provide a breakdown by constituency.
It said ministers appeared to be prepared to sacrifice Scotland’s scenery for little benefit. Last year it emerged that nearly five windfarm applications have been made a day since Alex Salmond came to power in 2007.
Tory chief whip John Lamont said: “The SNP regularly refers to the several thousands who are employed in the industry when we question its obsession with wind turbines.
“Yet now we learn that far from the misleading 11,000 figure, which includes all renewable sources, there are only 2,000 employed thanks to windfarm developments.”
Mr Lamont said the Conservatives had no issue with renewables “as a concept” and welcomed the employment it provided.
“But onshore windfarms sit at the very pinnacle of the Scottish Government’s approach, and that’s what is causing anxiety in communities across Scotland,” he said. “So, to give the impression they are a fertile source of employment – and as a result communities should just put up with windfarms on their doorsteps – is entirely irresponsible.”
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