The analysis on figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, demonstrates the importance of Scotland to the UK’s renewable energy industry, according to the trade association Scottish Renewables.

Talking at the Scottish Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh last night, Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said it had been another “record-breaking year” for Scotland’s industry.

Stuart said: “We learnt that we smashed the 2011 renewable electricity target, that the sector supports some 11,000 jobs, is making a massive dent in carbon emissions, and output has again hit record levels.”

He added that the figures put the industry, “firmly on course” to exceed an unprecedented annual total of £1bn for the first.

More than £800m of the investment came from onshore wind, which Stuart claimed showed the importance of the sector during a challenging time for Scotland’s economy.

The Scottish Government set an interim target of generating the equivalent of 31% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy sources. However, expectations were exceeded as final figures published in March showed the industry had generated 35% of the country’s electricity needs.

Figures published in a Parliamentary Question revealed Scotland’s renewable energy industry had offset 8Mt of CO2 in 2011.

Stuart added: “This year could see more than double the level of capital projects delivered than in 2011. We attracted around £750m of investment in the entire year of 2011 and more than £900m in just six months of 2012. If we continue at this rate there’s a good chance we could see in excess of £1.5bn of capital projects.”

Conor McGlone

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