Figures released this week show Scotland generated the equivalent of more than half its electricity needs from renewable sources in 2015, surpassing the 50% target set by Ministers.
Based on the latest consumption figures from 2014, renewables now generate the equivalent of 57% of Scotland’s power needs.
The new statistic, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, means Scotland is now more than halfway towards its target of producing the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Commenting, Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables said: “This is another important milestone for our industry and shows renewables are now a mainstream part of our power sector.
“There is still a huge amount of potential for future growth, if the industry is given the right backing by government.”
Ms Hogan warned that there is doubt over how achievable the next target set for the industry is.
She said: “Despite having enough projects in the pipeline, recent changes to government support, and hold ups in the consenting process for offshore wind farms, have set us on a path to fall short of the 2020 target.”
Reacting to the release of official figures which show that renewable energy met 57.7% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2015, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “This is great news and an important step in creating a fossil-free Scotland.
“Despite the UK Government’s ideological assault on renewable energy Scotland is storming ahead, smashing through our 50% target for 2015.
“Well done to all those in this vital industry who have helped produced a big increase from the 2014 figures.
“Clean, green energy is essential in the fight against climate change and Scotland needs to continue to be a champion of renewables while David Cameron continues to chase the nuclear dream in England.”
The figures from DECC also show that output from renewable energy sources in Scotland grew by 15% from 2014 which has been largely due to an increase in onshore wind, hydro and solar generation.
These approximate statistics will be confirmed once the consumption figure of electricity in 2015 is made available later this year.