SCOTLAND produced a record amount of renewable energy in the first three months of 2019, with enough power generated to supply almost nine out of 10 homes.

A total of 8877 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity were generated in the first quarter of this year – 17% more than in the same period of 2018.

The bulk of this power – 5792 GWh – came from onshore wind farms, the figures from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show.

Overall, the amount of renewable energy generated was enough to power around 88% of Scottish households for a year, the Scottish Government said.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the sector is going from “strength to strength”.

The BEIS data also shows renewable energy capacity in Scotland rose from 10.4 Gigawatts (GW) in March 2018 to 11.3 GW in March this year.

Electricity exports from Scotland were at their highest since the last three months of 2017, rising to 4543 GWh – the equivalent of enough energy to power more than 1.1 million homes for a year.

Wheelhouse said: “These figures show Scotland’s renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength.

“Last year we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74% of our electricity demand from renewable sources, and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues.

“We are seeing the growing importance of offshore wind, with capacity and generation both continuing to rise – with further projects under construction.

“I am delighted that installed capacity grew by 9.1% to reach a record 11.3 GW by March this year.

He added: “Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, particularly the inexcusable removal of an effective route to market for onshore wind, the Scottish Government continues to provide strong support for Scotland’s renewable energy sector.

“Generation and infrastructure investment continues, not least because of the importance in preventing the damaging impacts of climate change.”

WWF Scotland’s climate and energy policy manager Robin Parker heralded the “amazing figures”.

He said: “We’re in the grips of a climate crisis and renewables will continue to play a vital role in powering the country, creating jobs and reducing climate emissions.

“In order that Scotland reaches its full potential and can provide the rest of the UK with plentiful and cheap renewable electricity, the UK Government needs to unlock support for cheap, popular and effective renewables like onshore wind.”