GREEN ELECTRICITY generation in Scotland has increased by nearly a third thanks to the growth of hydro and wind power.
The amount of electricity produced from renewable sources in the first half of 2014 was 30 per cent higher than in the same period last year, according to new figures from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Over the same period, hydro generation increased by half while wind output rose by 20 per cent.
Renewables are estimated to have provided 46 per cent of gross electricity consumption in 2013, up from 40 per cent the year before.
The Scottish Government has set targets of meeting half of all electricity demand from renewables by 2015, increasing to 100 per cent by 2020.
A separate target aims to achieve 11 per cent of heat demand from renewables by 2020. That figure was 3 per cent in 2012, a small increase from 2.7 per cent the previous year.
Scotland’s final energy consumption decreased by 2 per cent in 2012 and was 11 per cent lower than the baseline average over the years 2005-2007.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “2014 is on track to be another record year for renewable electricity generation in Scotland.
“Scottish renewable electricity made up 32 per cent of the UK’s renewable energy generation in 2013 and we continue to be a net exporter of electricity.
“Harnessing Scotland’s vast energy wealth has multiple benefits - reducing our carbon emissions, creating jobs and investment and improving the energy security of Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “This is good news for all those concerned with cutting carbon emissions, creating jobs and keeping the lights on.
“However, if we’re to meet our aim of generating 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables by 2020 then we’ll need to see continued government support in both Holyrood and Westminster.
“This is especially the case for offshore wind power, where we need to see a major roll-out of sites in Scottish waters in the next few years.”