SSE plc publishes Half-year Results


SSE has today unveiled plans to treble its renewable output by 2030, and set out its aspiration to add 1GW a year of new renewables capacity by the second half of the decade. The update comes as the Prime Minister sets out his 10-point plan to build back greener and attract private sector investment in decarbonisation.

The FTSE-listed business, which was confirmed on Monday as a Principal Partner to the UK Government on the COP26 UN climate conference, has already pledged to spend £7.5bn – £4m every day – to 2025, making it one of the biggest investors in low-carbon infrastructure in the UK and Ireland.

In its Half-year Results statement, SSE plc reported on strong operational performance and good strategic progress in the six months to 30 September 2020, notwithstanding the impacts of coronavirus on its business. These impacts are tracking in line with expectations and are anticipated to be towards the middle of the £150m-£250m range outlined in June. Despite this, SSE has not furloughed any employees or drawn down on any government support, and has continued to support the safe and reliable supply of electricity to those who depend upon it.

Adjusted operating profit fell 15% versus the same period a year earlier to £418.3m, while reported operating profit increased 183% to £985.1m, reflecting proceeds from SSE’s disposals programme.

In June this year SSE said it would seek to raise at least £2bn from disposal of non-core assets by Autumn 2021. It has delivered £1.4bn in proceeds already, including the sale of its stake in Walney offshore wind farm, Multifuel Energy Limited, and smart meter funding provider MapleCo.

SSE has joined the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign by setting a target for all of its business operations to be net zero across all scopes by 2050, having already set ambitious near-term Science Based Targets to reduce emissions by 60% in just 10 years to 2030.

The transition to net zero will be transformational and SSE today became the first company to publish a Just Transition Strategy, outlining how it will approach the social implications of delivering net zero; from jobs and training, to working with communities and ensuring no one is left behind. The strategy sets out 20 principles SSE will follow to ensure that the impacts from the decisions it takes are fair and maximise the opportunities for communities to benefit from net zero.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said: “Today is an important day, not just for us as we publish our results and our low-carbon investment plans, but for anyone who supports the effort to tackle climate change as the Prime Minister sets out his welcome 10-point plan to build back greener.

“As we seek a recovery from the effects of coronavirus, investments in low-carbon infrastructure that help stimulate the economy, boost jobs and level up regions while tackling climate change are a win-win.

“We’ve led from the front on the green recovery, creating over 1,000 jobs through our low-carbon projects and with more to come as we support efforts to build back greener. And with clear policy signals from government and the regulator, we can do more.

“We have a portfolio of options that are second to none and a strong balance sheet that supports our plans to develop, own and operate the infrastructure that is so badly needed to build a better world of energy.”