SCOTLAND could top the UK's investment league for renewable energy with an £8billion injection that will help create a total of almost 8000 green jobs.

The table, compiled by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), currently puts Scotland second behind Yorkshire with confirmed announcements to date of £1.7bn, creating 4411 jobs.

Yorkshire, said DECC, has so far attracted the greatest amount of investment in renewables – £1.9bn, with another £1.8bn in the pipeline.

However, DECC pointed out that – in terms of investment value – Scotland is about to see a huge injection of £8bn, adding another 3313 jobs to the 4411 people already employed in the industry north of the Border.

Forthcoming projects include a plan by Spanish firm Gamesa to invest up to £122 million in developing a new offshore wind hub at Edinburgh's Port of Leith.

DECC said in the financial year to April, renewable energy firms unveiled plans to invest almost £7bn across the UK, supporting 20,848 jobs.

Last year, Scotland produced a record amount of renewable electricity, amounting to more than a third of its gross domestic consumption.

This exceeded the Scottish Government's 2011 target of 31%.

The SNP administration insists Scotland is now on track to deliver the equivalent of at least 100% of gross electricity consumption by 2020.

Marking World Environment Day today, Stewart Stevenson, Scotland's Environment Minister, said: "The renewables industry already supports more than 11,000 jobs across Scotland and plans to install up to 10 gigawatts of offshore wind-generated capacity in Scottish waters are predicted to create around £30bn of investment by 2020 and to directly employ 28,000 people.

"The emerging wave and tidal energy industry, where up to 1.6 gigawatts of capacity is planned for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, is predicted to create several thousand more renewables jobs."

There was more good news for the renewables lobby yesterday when a poll showed 68% of people thought onshore wind farms were "an acceptable price to pay" for green energy with support among those under 45 even higher at 80%.

However, Tim Yeo, the Conservative Chairman of the Commons Energy Committee, admitted there was a growing "backlash" against onshore wind turbines.

This week Lincolnshire County Council will vote on new guidance to introduce a presumption against allowing any more to be built.

The Tory backbencher said the UK Government might have to "bribe" people to accept them in their local communities.

Mr Yeo said: "I sympathise with people who say that if you've got a big wind farm near your home, you're bearing the environmental cost personally, whereas the benefits of that wind farm are shared amongst the whole population.

"What we have to do is to work harder to find places where wind farms are acceptable – and there are some places you can identify.

"Secondly we need to be more creative about sharing some of the benefits directly with those local communities. Frankly, we need to be prepared to bribe them."

One suggestion is that people who have wind farms in their area receive a reduction in their electricity bill.

Mr Yeo said the UK faced a choice of reducing carbon emissions now more cheaply or wait and have to pay more later on.

"I would like to get on and do it now. This means nuclear, energy from waste and solar. But it does have to have an element of wind."

Mr Yeo noted that in the fourth quarter of last year almost 12% of Britain's energy came from renewable sources.