Renewable energy now generates 15% of the UK’s power demand and supplies nearly half of Scotland’s energy mix.
Latest statistics released by DECC show renewable projects produced a total of just over 17,000GWh of electricity in 2013, a rise of 16.4% on the previous year.
On the whole, generation from onshore wind totalled 16.5TWh – up more than 36% from 2012 – while offshore wind grew almost 46% to 10.9TWh. Solar also saw a huge expansion, with an almost 70% rise to 2TWh while generation from bioenergy was up 22.8%.
Scotland produced around 32% of total UK generation from green energy sources last year, delivering a record-breaking 46% of its electricity consumption – putting it well on its track to meeting its 50% target by 2015.
Wind was the main driver, producing a total of 11,216GWh of electricity in 2013 – 35.7% higher than the previous year and more than five times the amount produced in 2006.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “These figures show that renewable generation in Scotland was at a record high last year, meeting around 46% of our electricity demand and helping keep the lights on across these islands at a time when Ofgem are warning of the ever tightening gap between peak electricity demand and electricity supply.
“Independence will allow Scotland to pursue the opportunity to maximise the benefits from our energy wealth, including our potential for further developments in renewable energy.”
Across the UK, coal accounted for 36.3% of overall electricity generation, down 9.6% from 2012 while gas dropped 4.3%, making up 26.8% of the mix. Nuclear generation rose to 19.8%.