Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish minister for business, innovation and energy, is seeking assurance from the UK that it will continue to back renewables following the closure of DECC.

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse is said to be seeking urgent talks with the UK government following its decision to scrap the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in favour of a new business-led department.

Prime minister Theresa May announced the closure of the Whitehall department within the first few days of her premiership, with its responsibilities having been passed to the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is reported to have raised the issue directly with May during their first meeting on Friday 15 July and Wheelhouse is now calling on BEIS’ secretary of state Greg Clark to set out his stall in the new department.

Wheelhouse said: “Mr Clark now has the opportunity to implement his vision by working with us to build on the remarkable progress already made in Scotland.

“But we’ll also be seeking assurances that the UK Government will back our efforts to create jobs and maximise benefits from the renewable energy sector, secure electricity supplies for everyone in these islands, and cut carbon emissions.”

The closure of DECC has been met with a mixed response from the renewables community, with some claiming it represents a signal from the government that it is rolling back its commitment to tackling climate change.

However, some have argued that the change will mean climate change and decarbonisation will become ingrained into business activities going forward.            

Scotland is seeking to continue its run of success in renewables in spite of any potential row back on energy and climate change policy from Westminster after it exceeded a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years early.

New figures released by the Scottish government last week showed the nation had cut its emissions by 45.8% since 1990, marking a significant over achievement of its target of 42% set for 2020.

The SNP were re-elected earlier this year under a manifesto which included a firm commitment to rolling out more solar across Scotland, with energy spokesperson Callum McCaig saying back in May: “There will be a huge opportunity for solar deployment over the next five to ten years or so.”

Meanwhile, the ministerial team at BEIS has begun to be fleshed out after Nick Hurd was named minister of state while Margot James takes on the role of parliamentary under secretary.

The team working alongside Clark are already facing growing pressure from industry as well as calls from north of the border after 30 environmental trade bodies and organisations called the new secretary of state to set out his plan for the UK as it moves towards 2020’s renewable energy targets.