The generation of renewable electricity in Scotland reached record levels last year, according to official statistics.

Statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) indicate an equivalent of 74.6% of gross electricity consumption was from renewable sources in 2018.

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The analysis outlines generation in Scotland was 26,708 gigawatt hours (GWh) - a 6.1% increase on the previous record set in 2017.

Electricity output at such a level represents the equivalent of powering all households in Scotland for more than two and a half years.

There was also an increase in electricity generated via offshore wind, with capacity and generation both more than doubling when compared to 2017.
Generation increased from 616 GWh in 2017 to 1,369 GWh in 2018, while capacity rose from 246 megawatts (MW) to 623 MW.

Net electricity exports in Scotland also almost doubled over the period - rising from 12,868 GWh in 2017 to 24,379 GWh in 2018.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse welcomed the statistics, claiming they highlight the strong future for the renewable energy sector in Scotland.

"These figures show Scotland's renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength," he said.

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"Last year, we saw the growing importance of offshore wind with capacity and generation both more than doubling compared to 2017 - with further projects under construction.

"Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government since 2015, particularly in terms of impacts on onshore wind, we continue to provide strong support for Scotland's renewable energy sector.

"Generation and infrastructure investment continues, not least because of the importance in preventing the damaging impacts of climate change.

"We will ensure the correct strategic decisions are taken to further support this highly valued sector, despite the difficulties created by unhelpful decisions at Westminster."