SCOTLAND generated a record amount of electricity from green energy sources last year, new figures have revealed.

Renewable power projects produced a total of 17,011 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2013, a rise of 16.4% on the previous year, data from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change shows.

That means about 46.5% of Scotland's energy needs came from sources such as wind or hydro power.

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Wind power produced a total of 11,216 GWh of electricity last year - the highest amount ever.

The amount of energy from this source was 35.7% higher than in 2012, and more than five times the amount of wind power that was produced in 2006.

The Scottish Government said the figures show it is on track to meet the target of producing 50% of the country's electricity needs from renewables by 2015, ahead of the target of producing the equivalent of 100% of needs from green sources by 2020.

Dr Sam Gardner, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: "It's fantastic news to see Scotland's renewable electricity sector making consistent progress towards its 2020 target - indeed we are already within touching distance of the 2015 goal to generate 50% of electricity needs from renewables.

"Green electricity is reaping rewards for Scotland, slashing carbon emissions, increasing energy security and delivering jobs."

But he stressed: "We must maintain this momentum to realise the full potential of our natural resources and tackle climate change."