ALMOST half of Scotland's electricity consumption now comes from renewable sources - and the amount of green energy generated here rose by almost a third in a year, thanks to bad weather.

But a target for an increase in "renewable heat" technologies remains worryingly out of reach despite the new figures, according to industry group Scottish Renewables.

Fresh statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimate renewables met a record-breaking 46.4 per cent of electricity use in 2013, up from 39.9 per cent in 2012. The Scottish Government says this indicates Scotland is on track to meet its targets of 50 per cent by 2015, and 100 per cent by 2020.

The 30 per cent growth in green energy in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2013 was largely due to hydro-electricity generation growing by 50 per cent because of high rainfall. Wind power rose by 20 per cent.

However, the DECC's figures also showed just three per cent of the country's warmth came from "renewable heat" - biomass, solar thermal panels, energy from waste and heat pumps - in 2012. That figure in 2011 was 2.6 per cent.

With a target of 11 per cent by 2020, the sector has been left behind, according to Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables.

She said: "While Scotland has made great strides towards its 100 per cent 2020 renewable electricity target, our objective of generating 11 per cent of heat from renewables remains worryingly out of reach. Renewable heat has been left behind.

"Half the energy we use goes on creating warmth, but a sector which has such an important role to play in combating climate change and reducing fuel poverty is not even considered important enough to be included as one of the Scottish Government's National Indicators of progress.

"Currently we just do not see the capacity coming forward which will allow us to hit the 2020 target and capitalise on the reductions in fuel poverty and carbon emissions which achieving it would bring."

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the DECC figures demonstrated renewable generation continued to go from strength to strength in Scotland.

There was also encouragement from a separate figure showing Scotland's final energy consumption fell by two per cent in 2012 and was 11 per cent down on the average over the years 2005-2007.

The figures for wind energy will increase further with 2,451 onshore turbines currently operational, 416 under construction and a further 1,435 already consented, according to Renewable UK's Wind Energy Database. The total number of offshore turbines operational, under construction or with planning permission is 537.

Mr Ewing said: "Harnessing Scotland's vast energy wealth has multiple benefits - reducing our carbon emissions, creating jobs and investment and improving the energy security of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"And of course communities the length and breadth of Scotland are also benefitting from millions of pounds of community benefit funding."

Lang Banks, director of green group WWF Scotland, said: "This is good news for all those concerned with cutting carbon emissions, creating jobs and keeping the lights on. However, if we're to meet our aim of generating 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables by 2020 then we'll need to see continued … support in both Holyrood and Westminster."