Scotland’s renewables industry is now the country’s principal source of electricity, according to the latest statistics.
A total of 49.7 per cent of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in 2014.
Renewables are now the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland at a record 38 per cent of total output – higher than both nuclear (33 per cent) and fossil fuels (28 per cent) for the first time.
This means that the 2015 target of 50 per cent of electricity coming from renewable sources has almost been met one year ahead of schedule.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “These figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do. It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables.
“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, we will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure.
“Devolved administrations, like the Scottish Government, will be strong drivers of a progressive climate agenda. These new figures show that a low carbon economy is not just a practical way forward, but that green energy plays a crucial role in the security of Scotland’s energy supply. ”
Industry body Scottish Renewables described the figures as “a clear sign of how important renewables have become to our energy sector”.
Joss Blamire, senior policy manager, said: “We are now almost half way to our 2020 goal of producing the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity from renewables, but the second half of the target is going to be much harder to achieve than the first.
“To see further progress, both the UK and Scottish governments must now put renewables at the heart of their energy policy in terms of cutting carbon emissions, reducing bills for consumers and increasing our energy security.”