New figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre show that Scotland was Europe’s fourth-largest consumer of renewable energy in 2016.

Some 54% of the nation’s power came from renewable sources, more than twice the average figure for England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

In 2017, more than two-thirds of Scotland’s energy came from renewables, up 15% year-on-year and marking a three-fold rise since 2007.

Scotland sat behind Austria, Sweden and Portugal, but ahead of Denmark and Germany.

Calls for more support

Gina Hanrahan, Acting Head of Policy at WWF Scotland, said: “If the sector is to continue to grow, the UK government must urgently provide a route to market for mature technologies like onshore wind and solar and support for newer technologies like tidal power.”

Alasdair Allan, a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament, added: “The Tories need to take a more strategic view of our environment and stop cutting subsidies for renewables, which experts have confirmed will be more cost-effective than nuclear power in the near future.”

The UK Government responded: “The UK is world leading in tackling climate change, with carbon emissions 40 per cent lower since 1990 and over the last five years investment in renewables has more than doubled to an average of £9 billion each year.”

> See more Scottish Parliament research briefings