Speaking at RenewableUK’s annual conference in Glasgow, Salmond said that Scotland had surpassed its 2011 target to generate 31% of electricity from renewable sources by four percentage points.
The 50% figure was originally the target for 2020, but Salmond said the government was so confident of meeting it early that it has brought it forward by five years.
The figure is based on projects that already have consent. RenewableUK’s annual state of the industry report, published today, revealed that consenting rates for onshore wind had improved in 2011/12.
Scottish performance was particularly good, with 47 projects consented out of a total 67 submitted. This represents an increase in the approval rate from 55% in 2010/11 to 67% in 2011/12.
Salmond said: "We have to recognise that Scottish government consenting of onshore wind is second to none and we’ll ensure that will continue."
Asked for his advice if he was in British prime minister David Cameron’s shoes, Salmond said that he needed to "walk the walk not just talk the talk" on renewables. "The debate that we have has got to come from an inner belief that the government means what it says."