EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 7 (UPI) -- Scotland generated nearly 60 percent of its electricity in 2015 through renewable sources -- beating their goal of 50 percent -- Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change reported.
At a total of 57.7 percent, Scotland is more than half way to its ultimate goal of having fully renewable electricity.
Renewable power generation increased by almost 16 percent in 2015 from the year before, with key improvements in hydroelectricity, which increased 7.2 percent, and wind, which increased 21.2 percent.
"This is another important milestone for our industry and shows renewables are now a mainstream part of our power sector," said director of policy for Scottish Renewables, Jenny Hogan on Tuesday. "There is still a huge amount of potential for future growth, if the industry is given the right backing by government."
The success could now become a point of contention in Scottish elections in May. The Scottish National Party has promised to build on their success if re-elected next month, while the British government has said it will make significant cuts to renewable energy subsidies in favor of more nuclear power, which could push Scotland's energy goal back by years. But proponents remain upbeat.
"Growth in renewable energy is one of the reasons Scotland is seen as an international leader in taking action to tackle climate change, alongside our world leading targets to reduce our carbon emissions, said Deputy First Minister and SNP campaign director John Swinney.
"Scotland has continually led on climate change, setting a good international example as well as taking significant action at home, as today's renewable energy statistics show," he said.