Scotland should set a new target of generating half its total electricity and energy for heat and transport from renewables by 2030, according to industry body Scottish Renewables.

Meeting the new goal – which is almost twice the EU’s 2030 target of 27 per cent green energy generation – would, according to Scottish Renewables, require a three-fold increase in the production of energy from renewable sources.

The trade body is calling for the new target as part of its manifesto on the future of renewable energy launched today ahead of May's Scottish Parliament elections.

Last month the Scottish Government declared an early success in its aim of the country generating 50 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2015.

Data released in December showed that the 2015 target was almost reached in 2014, when 49.7 per cent of electricity generation in Scotland came from renewable sources – mostly from onshore wind and hydro schemes.

The already agreed 2020 target is for 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity to come from green sources, but with the UK Conservative government having slashed many of the subsidies for renewable energy since it came to power last May it is not clear whether that target will be met.

According to Scottish Renewables’ own estimates, Scotland is now unlikely to meet its target of 100 per cent of gross annual consumption of electricity by 2020 and is currently on track to reach 87 per cent.

The trade body predicts that Scotland will produce 8 per cent of its heat and 9 per cent of its transport energy needs from green sources by 2020, while the targets are 11 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, acknowledges that increasing the proportion of Scotland’s energy to come from renewable sources to 50 per cent by 2030 is ambitious but points to Sweden as an example of a country which already sources half of all its energy from renewables.

"Achieving this new target will require strategic leadership from the next Scottish Government,” he said. “The development of a comprehensive and joined-up energy strategy will allow the sector to maintain its competitiveness as well as spearheading the development and deployment of new technologies.”

“Not only will these measures support growth in the next chapter of our industry, they will ensure that renewables can play a key role in meeting Scotland’s climate change targets and maximise the jobs and investment that our sector can bring to Scotland.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said that there had been good progress in generating Scotland’s electricity needs from renewable sources but more now needs to be done to increase the amount of renewable energy used for heat and transport.

A Scottish Government spokesman said that 2014 saw the biggest rise in heat capacity generated from renewable sources in Scotland – up 42 per cent from the year before.

The government has also invested over £11 million to date in ChargePlace Scotland, an electric vehicle charging network.