A WIND turbine at the Lecht ski centre and a solar energy project on a Perthshire farm are amongst the increasing number of new independent renewable energy projects.

SmartestEnergy's Energy Entrepreneurs Report 2014, published today, shows that 169 new independent renewable projects of 50kW or more started in Scotland in 2013, up 50 per cent on the number in 2012.

Trade body Scottish Renewables said the rise showed that independent electricity generators, including communities, businesses, farmers and public bodies, were increasingly taking their energy future into their own hands.

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The report also shows that not including the six largest power companies, more than £66 million was invested in independent, commercial-scale renewable electricity schemes in Scotland in 2013, generating enough ­electricity for more than one million homes. It also cites the £11.5 million Loch Carnan Community Windfarm, which is generating profits for reinvestment in South Uist, Benbecula and Eriskay by Storas Uibhist, the community company which led Scotland's biggest land buyout in 2006.