GREEN energy has had another good year in Scotland, with progress towards the renewable energy target sitting at 20% for 2017 – up from 16% the year before, according to figures from the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser.

The Scottish Government aims to generate half of Scotland’s overall energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030.

Data for 2017 published yesterday show the equivalent of 70.1% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources, a substantial rise on the 54.4% recorded in 2016.

It was also a record year for renewable heat with the equivalent of 5.9% of non-electrical heat demand being met from green sources – up from 4.7% in 2016.

Provisional figures for energy consumption in Scotland in 2017 show it increased by 1.3% on the year before – a rise of 1,915 GWh – much of which was due to a rise in gas consumption.

The figures show that renewable electricity generation in Scotland was 5014 GWh in the third quarter of 2018. From 2018 to date, the figures show renewable electricity at a slightly higher level than at the same point in 2017 – 17,735 GWh last year compared to 17,401 GWh.

At the end of last year’s third quarter, there was 10,475 MW of installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 5.9% (585 MW) over the year from the same period in 2017.

The figures were welcomed by Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES). Cimate campaigner Caroline Rance said: “These figures show another good year for green energy in Scotland, as renewables continue to grow while prices fall. We can be rightly proud of the progress we have made, with most of our electricity now coming from clean sources such as wind and solar power, while creating thousands of jobs for the people of Scotland.

“The development of a new publicly owned energy company is an important next step, presenting an opportunity to deliver 100% renewable energy, including renewable heating in our homes, and ensuring that communities can fully participate in generating and owning energy for all.

“Climate science tells us that we must go faster with cutting emissions right across the economy. By powering our country with renewables we can share the benefits of the transition to a zero-carbon economy, create jobs and deliver on our responsibility to tackle climate change.”

Meanwhile, the company developing the Inch Cape offshore wind farm in the North Sea off Angus has signed a deal with Dutch company Boskalis to deliver key elements of the project’s marine package.

Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL) project manager Ian Johnson said: “The reputation and high standards of our main contractors, as well as the smaller suppliers procured to help deliver each package, is a priority for the project.”

Marcel van Bergen, from Boskalis, added: “The Inch Cape offshore wind farm is set to be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK over the next 10 years and we’re thrilled to have been chosen to help deliver a key package of the development.”