The indicator is the amount of renewable energy generated in Scotland as a percentage of Scottish gross energy consumption.  This includes electricity, heat and transport as opposed to the previous target for renewables which just focused on electricity.

The indicator is the amount of energy generated from renewable sources, expressed as a percentage of gross consumption in Scotland:

Indicator = (electricity generated by renewable sources + heat generated from renewable sources + biofuels used in transport) / (total energy consumption for heat + total energy consumption for transport + total electricity generated - electricity exported + electricity imported) multiplied by 100.

Source of Data:

Data is collected and published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Renewable generation data (numerator of indicator) is comprised of renewable electricity, heat and biofuels used for transport.  Renewable electricity data are published quarterly in the BEIS Energy Trends publication with annual figures published in March.  Renewable heat data are published in the Energy Saving Trust’s Renewable Heat Report, published in October each year.  Biofuels in transport data is derived from the HMRC Hydrocarbon Oils Bulletin.

Gross consumption data (denominator of indicator) are published annually in the September issue of Energy Trends.  A Scottish sub-national consumption estimate for the next year is derived in March.

Energy Trends is a National Statistics publication.

Data including revisions over the whole time series (since 2000) are published on the Scottish Government website.


Renewable sources of energy includes wind, wave and tidal, solar power and hydroelectricity. Renewable energy includes solar power, wind, wave and tidal, and hydroelectricity. Solid renewable energy sources consist of wood, straw, short rotation coppice, other biomass and the biodegradable fraction of wastes. Gaseous renewables consist of landfill gas and sewage gas.

Total energy consumption refers to all energy consumption in terms of electricity, heat and transport across domestic, industrial and commercial sectors.  For the purposes of this calculation, electricity consumption refers to total electricity generated plus imports and minus exports.

Criteria for Change:

The data underlying the percentage of renewable energy in Scotland are derived from admin data sources, and therefore provide a population level picture of renewable energy in Scotland.  Hence, assessing if the difference in renewable energy year on year represents a real change is not limited by sampling error and representativeness, but our assessment of the accuracy of the data.  Some of the data is based on estimates, for example, total energy consumption is based on meter readings, some of which are estimates.   Biofuels in transport in Scotland which forms a very small part of the calculation is estimated from the UK proportion of biofuels.  However, the level of estimation is minimised and a consistent methodology is used to measure renewable energy generation each year.  

As such, any difference within +/- 0.5 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change.¬† Based on the most recent figures, this equates to less than 750 GWh of renewable energy generation or less than 4,000 GWh energy consumption ‚Äď it is not expected that the margins of error in the current data collection would exceed these figures.¬† An increase of 0.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 0.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.¬†

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