Scots Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse said emissions had dropped from the equivalent of 18.484 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006 to the equivalent of 12.147 million tones in 2011.
The fall was confirmed in an answer to parliamentary question from SNP MSP Rob Gibson, the convener of Holyrood’s Environment Committee.
Gibson said the figures provided “welcome confirmation of the important role our renewable energy sector is playing in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a greener Scotland”.
The Scottish Government wants 80% of Scotland’s electricity and 11% of heat to be supplied from renewable sources by 2020, and the SNP manifesto proposes to increase the target for electricity to 100% by that date.
Heavy polluting coal and oil-fired power stations will have to go and there will be no nuclear power plants, and while Scotland boasts a long and successful history with hydro electricity, other energy-producing solutions will be needed.