A decade of clean growth

SSE has today launched its 'A Decade of Clean Growth' report, documenting the expansion of our onshore wind portfolio over the past ten years, and the £3.9bn (€4.36bn) of value added to the UK and Irish economies as a result.

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of SSE acquiring Airtricity in Ireland; a defining point in the SSE Group’s journey to becoming a leading developer and generator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland. Investing in Airtricity enabled SSE to access a hugely important pipeline of onshore wind farms and, just as importantly, to bring on board Airtricity’s development expertise.

Since 2008, SSE has increased its renewable generation capacity significantly, with its onshore wind capacity increasing three-fold to 1,917MW as of June this year. Of SSE’s total committed spend in onshore wind, an estimated 66% was, or is expected to be, spent in the UK or Ireland.

This growth in SSE’s onshore wind portfolio is:

  • Delivering clean, low-carbon electricity, which in 2017/18 was enough to supply more than 1.35 million homes in the UK and Ireland, and has avoided around 13.4m tonnes CO2e over the ten years;
  • Estimated to contribute £3.9bn of value added to the UK and Irish economies as a result of the committed spend, including capex and ongoing expenditure up to 2040; and
  • Supporting an estimated 67,000 years of full-time employment across the UK and Ireland. Much of the employment relating to onshore wind is located in places where economic activity tends to be low.

Speaking about the growth of SSE's onshore wind portfolio in Ireland, Stephen Wheeler, SSE Ireland Managing Director, said:

“SSE is proud to be the largest developer and generator of onshore wind energy on the island of Ireland, with 735MW of generation capacity at our 29 wind farms here. Since 2008, and the acquisition of Airtricity, the SSE Group has taken a lead role in the development of renewable energy, and the business here in Ireland has been crucial in that journey.

“Through our spend on onshore wind farms, SSE has contributed €600m to Irish GDP over the last decade, while supporting 6,000 years of full-time employment here. In that time, we’ve also been able to present over €6.5m to community projects, and we’re looking forward to continuing to contribute to the social, environmental and economic well-being of local communities for decades to come.

“Onshore wind has been a huge success story in Ireland. Now, with the scale of the challenge to meet our climate and energy targets greater than ever, we need to reignite the renewable revolution and support a diverse range of technologies, including offshore wind, to reclaim our place as a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future.”

SSE’s ‘A Decade of Clean Growth’ report is available in full here.