SCOTLAND’S drive for renewable energy has the backing of a substantial majority of the Scottish people, according to a new poll released today.

Asked the question whether they “would like to see a Scotland that generates all of its electricity from our abundant renewable resources”, some 61 per cent of those questioned either agreed or strongly agreed.

Only 10 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed, with the remainder neither agreeing nor disagreeing in the independent survey commissioned by WWF Scotland.

The poll comes ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Government announcement of a programme that is expected to include development of new energy strategy.

The poll’s finding should encourage Scottish ministers to embrace the vision of making Scotland the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation, says WWF Scotland.

The opinion polling data is published after a month of “positive progress” on renewables in Scotland, according to the campaigners.

During August, wind turbines generated enough power to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 69 per cent of all households in Scotland – some 1.7 million homes.

There was a landmark day on August 7 when wind turbines produced output equivalent to more than all of Scotland’s electricity needs for the day.

Last week The National reported that a world first was achieved with electricity generated for the Shetland grid from a tidal power array.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It’s fantastic to see that the majority of the Scottish public support the view that all of our nation’s electricity should be generated from pollution-free renewables. Given the positive progress Scotland has made already, it’s not surprising that the public should think even more should be made of our country’s abundant renewable resources.

Independent analysis has shown that our electricity system could be powered almost entirely by renewables within two decades without the need for any gas, coal or nuclear power in Scotland. The analysis also shows that Scotland would maintain security of supply and its position as an electricity-exporting nation.

“The Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy provides the perfect opportunity to set out a bold vision of becoming the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030.

“Embracing such a vision would ensure that we secure the maximum economic and social benefits that would come from a transition toward a zero-carbon society.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “Whether it’s wind, tidal or solar, Scotland is making positive steps on renewables each and every day.

“It’s amazing to think what Scotland might achieve with renewables in the future.”

SNP MSP Ash Denham, who sits on Holyrood’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, criticised the Conservative UK Government for its approach to renewables.

She said: “They oppose the development of renewable energy technology at every turn.

“And their cuts to subsidies for this industry will prove deeply damaging to jobs and the industry’s ability to help us meet our energy needs.”