RENEWABLE energy sources delivered the equivalent of 54 per cent of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2016, according to UK Government figures.

The results show that Scotland is on track for a record year of renewable electricity generation, with output in the first three quarters of 2017 some 19 per cent greater than the same period in 2016, and 10 per cent up on the same period in 2015 – the last record year.

Scotland continues to lead the way in renewable energy in the UK with Scottish renewables generating approximately 24 per cent of total UK renewable electricity in 2016.

The figures showed that renewables accounted for a record 42.9 per cent of total Scottish electricity generation in 2016 and this country continues to be a strong net exporter of electricity.

Minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse published Scotland’s first Energy Strategy on Tuesday which includes a £20 million Energy Investment Fund a £60m Low Carbon Innovation Fund.

Reacting to the figures yesterday, Wheelhouse said: “Today’s very encouraging statistics show that Scotland is on track for a record year of renewable electricity generation, and that our renewable energy sector is stronger than ever. This reflects our commitment to clean, green energy investment, and we will continue to support the renewable energy sector to grow further in Scotland.

“Yesterday, I published our Energy Strategy setting out Scotland’s Energy Future for the period to 2030 and beyond. The strategy recognises and builds on our achievements to date and on Scotland’s capacity for innovation. We are leading the way in promoting community and locally owned renewable energy – well ahead of the rest of the UK – and these figures are further proof of that.”

The Solar Trade Association Scotland said it has “mixed feelings” over the strategy, however.

STA Scotland chair, Chris Clark said: “Whilst the Scottish Government recognises that solar has a role to play within the new Energy Strategy, it is disappointing that we are still missing the firm policy measures we need to boost the Scottish solar market. We need to maximise the potential for solar across all markets, especially on all suitable roofs of newly constructed buildings. This is why we want to see a dedicated solar action plan for Scotland.”