SSE sets out “greenprint” for a cleaner, resilient economy

SSE has published a five-point “greenprint” with the twin objectives of helping the economy rebound and taking climate action to meet net zero targets, post COVID-19.

Writing to the Prime Minister, the Treasury and BEIS on 26 May, SSE set out its action plan, focused on five priority areas: a net zero power system by 2040, strategic investment, ahead of need, in electricity networks, a clean industrial revolution, leading the charge on electric vehicles (EVs), and green buildings for green jobs.

To support a return to growth, SSE is targeting 75GW of offshore wind projects, five carbon capture and storage projects, along with hydrogen power clusters, and giving the go-ahead on plans to regenerate electricity motorways to transport clean power to more homes and businesses. It suggested that a green fiscal rule, properly putting a high price on carbon emissions, would further incentivise the switch to cleaner power, while also stressing that making homes more energy efficient and putting a deadline for the “demise of the gas boiler” is key to hit net zero goals. The government was also told to stimulate investment in a world leading EV charging network and to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030.

SSE explained that its suggested areas of focus, along with the go-ahead for projects ripe for investment, would offer the type of boost the economy and energy sector need to support long-term sustainable jobs and contributed to GDP.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said: “While it is still too early to predict with confidence the full human, social and economic impact of coronavirus, we can say with certainty that significant investment will be needed to rebuild the UK economy in its wake. Although not as immediately felt as those from coronavirus, the impacts from a failure to deal with climate change could be even greater – that’s why delivering on the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050, and 2045 in Scotland, is as important as ever.”