Scotland is falling short of its 100% renewable electricity target, according to a new study commissioned by the trade body Scottish Renewables (SR).
It concluded that Scotland is on course to generate the equivalent of 87% of its annual demand for power from renewables by 2020.
SR chief executive Niall Stuart said: “Scotland has come a long way in a short space of time, with supportive policies at Westminster and Holyrood delivering an incredible transformation in our electricity industry.
“The renewables sector now employs some 21,000 people, is delivering around £1billion pounds of capital investment each year and has displaced carbon emissions equivalent to the whole of our transport sector.”
He said the 100% target had provided “a powerful focus for government, industry and supporting bodies like development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise” and “put Scotland’s renewable energy industry on the map”.
Mr Stuart added: “However, current projections show that we’re not going to meet it unless we get more projects going ahead between now and 2020.
“There are consented schemes onshore and offshore that could get us there, but they can only go ahead if they are allocated a long term contract for their power.”
The 2020 target was announced in 2011 by former First Minister Alex Salmond.
It is not legally binding and therefore there are no penalties for missing it.
Speaking last (TUES) night, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Recent announcements by the UK Government represent an attack on the renewables sector, creating huge uncertainty for investors, developers and communities – and undermining Scotland’s ability to fulfil its renewable energy potential.
“Our renewables targets are ambitious and challenging and I am pleased we have seen almost half of our electricity demand coming from renewable sources in 2014.
“However, I share Scottish Renewables’ concerns that the damaging and premature cuts to support for renewable energy being driven through by the UK Government will hamper future progress.”