SSE committed to supporting a Net Zero target last year. Following the release of the UK's independent Climate Change Committee’s report, ‘Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’, Alistair Phillips-Davies has outlined three areas of focus for the Government to ensure the UK meets its challenge:

1. Making renewables the central plank for net zero

2. Accelerating the electrification of heat and transport

3. Developing clean back-up technologies

Alistair said: “With UK Government support, offshore wind has now blown nuclear away on cost with larger, more efficient turbines halving the costs in just the last few years. The country now has a critical weapon in reaching Net Zero and I think the CCC’s projection of 75GW of offshore wind by 2050, compared to 8GW today and the 30GW targeted by the Government's sector deal for 2030, is challenging - but necessary and deliverable.

“Renewable energy will soon not need extra support, but some form of revenue stability allows projects to earn the returns required to attract sufficient funding for large upfront costs. Continuing to provide this certainty for offshore and potentially re-introducing it for other renewables would enable them to be the deliverable central plank for Net Zero.”

In terms of quickening the pace to electrification of heat and transport he said he believes the primary focus should be on the technologies available today and to prioritise electric solutions such as heat pumps and next generation electric storage heaters, alongside a widespread rollout of electric vehicles.

And to ensure the UK has flexible back up power for renewables, Alistair said super efficient gas plants can be a transitionary solution to keep the lights on but, importantly, “even the most efficient thermal plant cannot be on the system in the 2050s without carbon capture technologies storing the CO2.”

Read the letter to Greg Clark in full here: link to PDF