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Powering change: SSE Thermal’s critical role in delivering net zero

14 Jul 2022

The global energy landscape could not be more complex. By contrast, SSE Thermal’s vision couldn’t be simpler: to be the leading provider of flexible energy in a net zero world.  That means managing our business today to help keep the lights on while transforming our business to provide that same flexibility without the associated carbon emissions in the future.

SSE’s commitment to net zero is clear. At the end of 2021, we launched our Net Zero Acceleration Programme, announcing a £12.5bn investment through to 2026 with a focus on low-carbon infrastructure. At the end of May we outlined further plans that will see us invest in excess of £24bn this decade. This will include a rapid increase in renewables capacity, the upgrade of electricity networks and a focus on low-carbon flexible generation.

It is that latter point where SSE Thermal’s focus lies. As owner and operator of flexible power stations and gas storage sites across the UK and Ireland, we play a major role in keeping the lights on. That role will only grow as more and more renewables come onto the system and the issue of intermittency becomes a greater risk to the stability of the grid – when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, flexible power will be required to step in.

But we know we need to decarbonise our assets for a net zero world. That is why we are taking the bull by the horns and placing low-carbon projects at the top of our strategic agenda, helping SSE meet its goals of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by the end of this decade.

We’re developing ground-breaking carbon capture and storage projects and progressing options across the hydrogen value chain – be it electrolysis, the development of a major hydrogen storage facility, the potential to blend hydrogen into our existing power stations or developing the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fired power station.  In addition, we are exploring other exciting options as we seek to decarbonise across our entire portfolio. All of this is taking place within some of the UK’s largest industrial clusters and will not only help to secure the energy transition but also a just transition for workers and communities.

We’ve made significant progress so far – but we’re just getting started. To truly deliver on our ambitions, we are aiming to build on our already 600+ strong team over the coming months. Whether it is engineers working on our low-carbon projects, operations and maintenance specialists at our existing sites, business development experts focused on origination or commercial analysts ensuring we add value, we are growing our team as we rise to the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.

With an inclusive and collaborative approach, we have a relentless focus on high performance and getting the job done together as a team. We pride ourselves on our integrity, our grit and we relish the role we play in the “tricky” business of bringing together the need for flexible power with the drive for net zero across the UK and Ireland.

So, come join us as we power change.