The amount of heat generated by renewable sources in Scotland grew by 36% during 2014 and now account for an estimated 3.7% of the total non-electrical heat demand.
Figures published by the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government estimate that over 1GW of renewable heat capacity was in operation in Scotland in 2014.
The report, covering heat from heat pumps (ground and air), biomass, waste and solar thermal, is used to measure progress towards the Scottish government’s target of 11% heat coming from renewables by 2020.
It found that non-electrical heat demand in Scotland had reduced by 2% in 2013, the most recent year data is available for, to just over 82,000GWh.
Earlier this year the Scottish government published its Heat Policy Statement, which aims to largely decarbonise the heat system by 2050.
It set out how Scotland might use less energy for heat and how low-carbon heat could reach more householders, business and communities, as well as setting out a clear framework in investment in the future of heat in Scotland.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am pleased 2014 has seen the biggest step change in heat demand generated from renewable sources, a significant step forward to decarbonising heating.
“We are committed to helping support households and business across become more energy efficient and use more low-carbon and renewable heat sources.”
However, Mr Ewing said there was continuing uncertainty about the RHI. He said Scotland would press for commitment from the UK government on the long-term sustainability of the RHI beyond next year to provide confidence for funders and stimulate investment in renewable heat technologies.
The Scottish government has its own programmes such as the Home Renewables Loan Scheme, Resource Efficiency Scotland and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme to provide support to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies.