Scotland failed to achieve its renewable heating target last year and is on track to miss its target for 2030, a new report has found.

In 2016 the country actually covered less of its heat demand with renewable sources than it did in 2015, the report from WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB found.

Scotland aims to get 40 per cent of its heating from renewables by 2030 in order to meet its larger climate targets, but just 4.8 to 5 per cent of heat demand was covered by renewable sources last year, down from 5.4 per cent in 2015.

To meet the 2030 target, Scotland would need to invest £600m ($787m) to £1bn in heat networks by 2020, the report said.

“The heat transition has only just begun and it will take bold leadership and action from the Scottish government to accelerate the pace of change,” the report noted.

The groups urged the government to implement policy measures to support the growth of district heating networks, and to require that new commercial and residential buildings are heated with renewables.

In addition, “an ambitious new energy efficiency programme” will be needed to prepare homes and buildings for renewable heat systems, the report said.

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse was quoted as saying that the government is aware of the work to be done and is “working with 21 local authority areas via our integrated programme of support for buildings, and have provided £24.7 million to 25 renewable heat projects since 2016”.