By Gemma Childe on 4th Jul 2012
Scotland has produced a record amount of renewable energy and could increase its green job opportunities if it stays on the right path, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The country's green energy generation almost doubled in five years, with projects representing £750m of investment set up in 2011 alone, government figures show.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change said 13,375 gigawatt hours of renewable energy were generated in Scotland last year, an increase of 44.3 per cent on the previous year and up 97.3 per cent on 2006.
WWF Scotland's head of policy, Dr Dan Barlow, said: "This big jump in Scotland's renewable output is exciting news and keeps us on track to generate 100 per cent of our electricity demand from renewables by 2020.
"To ensure Scotland remains on track to a fully renewable future we need to see continued and rapid deployment of all forms of renewables alongside investment in energy efficiency.
"Such a path will help create jobs, reduce pollution and protect households from volatile fossil fuel prices."
Provisional figures for the first quarter of this year show a further increase in renewable energy output, which was up 45.5 per cent compared with the first three months of last year.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the figures show renewable energy generation in Scotland was "going from strength to strength".
He reiterated that the goal was to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of the country's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020 and that great progress is being made towards this target.
Mr Ewing said: "Scotland has astounding renewable energy potential, and the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring every community in Scotland benefits from the opportunities of renewable energy."