Electricity generated from renewable sources in Scotland has surged from meeting the equivalent of 54.4% of Scotland’s demand in 2016 to reach a new record of 70.1% in 2017, according to new official statistics.

The rise is largely attributed to more wind being used to produce renewable electricity, with an extra 1.1GW of new capacity coming online in 2017, which contributed to a 4,600GWh increase in electricity generation via wind alone.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

"These figures show Scotland's renewable energy sector continues to grow with a new record set at 70.1% of Scotland’s electricity demand that could be met from renewable resources. This represents an almost 16 percentage point increase over levels seen in 2016, and places Scotland well ahead of the rest of the UK. 

“I am also very pleased to see so many new projects coming online, with installed capacity reaching a new record of 10.475 GW at the end of Q3, up almost 6% on last year, and with a strong pipeline of further projects under construction or to look forward to.

"Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, most recently with the announcement of the ending of Feed In Tariffs (FITs), the Scottish Government continues to champion Scotland's renewables potential, both in terms of generation and infrastructure investment. As we seek to prevent the damage of climate change, we also saw progress in 2017 towards both our renewable heat target and new all energy target.

"We are working hard with the sector and our stakeholders to ensure that, in line with Scotland’s Energy Strategy, the correct strategic decisions are taken to further support this highly valued sector of Scotland's economy as it goes from strength to strength."