About our campaign
How we are powering change
SSE’s vision is to be a leading energy company in a net-zero world. As one of the UK and Ireland’s leading generators of renewable energy (SSE Renewables) and one of the largest electricity network companies in the UK (SSEN), sustainability and climate action are at the core of SSE’s business strategy.
We develop, own, and operate low-carbon infrastructure to support the net-zero transition. This includes onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission , and distribution grids, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses.
We are UK-listed in the FTSE100 and will invest £20.5bn by the end of March 2027 (on average over £11m a day) in low-carbon energy and electricity infrastructure in our Net Zero Acceleration Programme Plus.
SSE has a target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2040 (subject to security of supply requirements) and for remaining scope 3 emissions by 2050.
We also plan to increase our renewable energy output fivefold by 2031 and have set interim science-based targets for carbon reduction, which are aligned with the Paris Agreement and verified by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi).
We are a real Living Wage and Living Hours accredited employer and a Fair Tax Mark accredited company, and we employ over 12,000 talented and skilled people across to UK and Ireland.
Our campaign is the story of a team effort, one that involves thousands of people working as one to deliver the actions needed today to bring low-carbon electricity to homes and businesses across the UK and Ireland.
From 2020-23 SSE Airtricity, SSE Renewables, SSE Thermal and SSE Energy Solutions made economic contributions totalling €1.26bn in Ireland, supporting up to 2,430 jobs. Find out more about SSE's commitment to delivering economic growth in the places in which it operates in our 2023 Sustainability Report.
SSE is investing on average over £11m a day over a five-year period as part of its £20.5bn Net Zero Acceleration Programme Plus (April 2022 – March 2027).
This includes building the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, off the coast of Yorkshire, Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm in Seagreen off the coast of Angus, and the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output in Viking on the Shetland Islands. We are also developing one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world in Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm the Firth of Forth, with the potential to generate enough renewable energy to power over 5 million homes.
Find out more about these investments in our 2023/24 half-year results here.
Investment in low-carbon energy and electricity infrastructure
In May 2023, SSE published its financial results for full-year 2022/23 where it reported a record investment of £2.8bn for the year – over 50% more than its £1.8bn adjusted profit after tax in the same period.80% of our investment was directly focused on our 2030 goals, which are linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) most material to our business. And 48% of investment was specifically related to our SSE Renewables business, with a further 33% of investment focused on building the electricity infrastructure needed to strengthen the national network infrastructure to enable us to transport low-carbon energy across the country. Only 10% of our investment was related to Thermal activity (which included investment in two power stations – Triton Power and Slough Multifuel).
Our Annual Report is verified by independent auditors Ernst & Young LLP.
SSE 2022/23 Investments:
Strong overall financial performance helped the group continue to invest more than it made in profits with a record £2.8bn investment as it delivered:
- First power at Seagreen, Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest tethered offshore wind farm.
- Continuing progress on building Dogger Bank, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with first power expected later this year.
- Completed laying the majority of a 260km subsea cable that will ultimately connect Shetland, the UK’s windiest region, to the GB electricity grid for the first time.
- Expanding into mainland Europe with the acquisition of 2.4GW onshore development platform in Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
- Commissioning Keadby 2, one of the world’s most efficient gas power plants.
- Beginning exploratory works on Coire Glas, which has the potential to be the UK’s largest hydroelectric scheme in 40 years, doubling GB electricity storage capacity.
In addition, the group paid more than £500m in taxes in the UK and has allocated £43m to the UK government’s Energy Generator Levy which came into effect in the final quarter of its financial year. The group contributed more than £6bn to UK GDP and supported over 40,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
Along with its joint venture partners (Equinor and Vårgrønn), SSE Renewables is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world at Dogger Bank in the North Sea more than 130km off the North East coast of England. Dogger Bank will be delivered in 3 phases, each phase will have an installed generation capacity of 1.2GW and represents a multi-billion-pound investment. Combined, they will have an installed capacity of 3.6GW and will be capable of powering up to 6 million homes annually *, helping drive the transition to net zero carbon emissions.
Data verified by 4C Offshore, a TGS Company.
* 6 million homes powered per annum based on Typical Domestic Consumption Values (Medium Electricity Profile Class 1, 2,900kWh per household; OFGEM, January 2021), typical 55% wind load factor, and projected installed capacity of 3.6GW.
We employ c.12,000 talented and skilled people and are a proud ‘real Living Wage’ and ‘Living Hours’ employer and accreditee of the ‘Fair Tax Mark’. This is evident in our 2022/23 Annual Report, which is verified by external auditors Ernst & Young LLP. It confirms that in 2022/23, we advertised 3,732 internal and external roles and expect to create 1,000 new jobs a year up to 2026.
SSE was also the first company in the world to develop a ‘Just Transition Strategy’ aimed at ensuring the benefits of the clean energy transition are shared by workers and communities.
Transitioning to a net-zero world means new industries are being created, with opportunities for both the existing workforce and new entrants. As part of this transition, SSE is supporting and delivering thousands of green jobs including:
- More than 2,000 UK jobs were created or supported in relation to the construction and future operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which we’re building with joint venture partners Equinor and Eni Plenitude.
- Over 400 new direct, contractor and supply chain jobs are linked to the £3bn Seagreen offshore wind farm near Angus, Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, which we’re building with joint venture partner TotalEnergies.
- More than 900 new jobs in our Transmission Networks business - SSEN Transmission in 2022 and 2023 The new jobs will include technical roles at all levels to help facilitate some of the major development projects in the pipeline for the business to prepare the network infrastructure for a renewables future, as well as project management roles and teams to help with customer and stakeholder engagement.
Our Networks business (SSEN) plays a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon future, developing, building, maintaining and operating a network for net zero.
SSE’s Transmission Network is vital to net zero ambitions as it transports huge quantities of clean, green renewable power over a quarter of the UK land mass across some of its most challenging terrain. Find out more here.
SSE’s Distribution Network provides power to 3.8 million homes and businesses in communities across central southern England and the north of Scotland, keeping customers connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero. Find out more here.
As a leading energy company in the UK and Ireland, we have deliberately aligned our business strategy to social objectives. Since 2019, SSE has aligned its business strategy to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) most material to its business. The SDGs SSE defines as ‘highly material' to its business and to which it aligns its strategy and operations are:
- SDG13 Climate action;
- SDG7 Affordable and clean energy;
- SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure; and
- SDG8 Decent work and economic growth.
SSE’s 2030 Goals for the company, which are linked to executive remuneration, are aligned to these highly material SDGs:
- SDG13: Cut carbon intensity by 80%
Reduce Scope 1 carbon intensity by 80% by 2030, compared to 2017/18 levels, to 61gCO2e/kW;
- SDG7: Increase renewable energy output fivefold
Build a renewable energy portfolio that generates at least 50TWh of renewable electricity a year by 2030;
- SDG9: Enable low-carbon generation and demand
Enable at least 20GW of renewable generation and facilitate around 2 million EVs and 1 million heat pumps on SSEN’s electricity networks by 2030;
- SDG8: Champion a fair and just energy transition
Be a global leader for the just transition to net zero, with a guarantee of fair work and commitment to paying fair tax and sharing economic value.
SSE reports on its progress against these 2030 Goals each year within its Annual Report and Sustainability Report.
To support improved performance, SSE measures and reports progress against interim science-based targets on a 1.5°C pathway. This performance is outlined in Table 3 below. SSE remains on track to achieve its SBTi-approved target to reduce scope 1 GHG emissions intensity by 80% between 2017/18 and 2030. It is expected that SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Plus programme will develop and connect the renewables capacity which will contribute to a reduction in the scope 1 GHG intensity by 2030. SSE’s total scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions combined were 6.52MtCO2 e in 2022/23 - this is a reduction of 41% from the 2017/18 base year of SSE’s SBTi-approved absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG target. Overall, SSE’s scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions have reduced significantly compared to the base year, reflecting lower output from thermal power stations and the closure of SSE’s last coal-fired power plant in March 2020. SSE aims to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 72.5% between 2017/18 and 2030.
GHG emissions from gas sold to customers, which contribute around 45% of SSE’s scope 3 emissions in 2022/23, decreased by 5.5%. This was a result of lower market demand reflecting increased market prices. This means GHG emissions from gas sold have reduced by 15% from 2017/18. SSE’s SBTi-approved target is to reduce GHG emissions from gas sold by 50% between 2017/18 and 2034.
SSE's performance against its science-based carbon targets
|Progress against target
Reduce the GHG intensity of scope 1 GHG emissions by 80% by 2030, from a 2017/18 base year
|17% reduction in GHG intensity since 2017/18
Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 72.5% by 2030 from a 2017/18 base year
|41% reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions since 2017/18
Reduce absolute GHG emissions from use of products sold by 50% by 2034 from a 2017/18 base year
|15% reduction in GHG emissions from gas sold since 2017/18
Engage with 50% of suppliers by spend to set an SBT by 2024
|52% of SSE's suppliers (by value) that set or committed to set their own science-based targets through the SBTi
While renewable generation will do the heavy lifting to decarbonise the UK’s power system and is at the core of SSE’s strategy, the UK continues to require flexible thermal power stations on the grid to maintain security of supply in periods of low renewable generation output.
SSE Thermal is fully focused on providing vital flexible and reliable generation in a way that is consistent with SSE Group’s Paris-aligned, Science Based Targets and its commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.
SSE is already making major progress in this regard, closing its last coal-fired power station in 2020, five years ahead of the UK Government’s 2025 deadline, and building a first-of-a-kind, super-efficient power station at Keadby 2 in North Lincolnshire, which will displace older, more carbon-intensive generation on the GB electricity network.
SSE has publicly stated it will not build any further power stations without a clear route to decarbonisation, and the company is now focused on decarbonising its gas-fired power generation through exciting opportunities in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen solutions, which we believe will allow flexible power stations to continue providing large-scale generation in a net zero world. Find out more here.
Coire Glas is Britain’s most advanced flexible electricity storage project currently in development.
Located between Fort William and Inverness, the Coire Glas project is expected to require a capital investment of over £1.5 billion to construct.
If built, it would deliver up to 30GWhs of flexible electricity storage, and as the only new project currently in development that is fully consented to, would make it Britain’s biggest natural battery.
If approved for final delivery, it could be the first pumped hydro storage scheme to be built in Great Britain in 40 years and would double the country’s current amount of flexible electricity storage capacity.
Great Britain’s current flexible electricity storage capacity is verified externally in the ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ publication by National Grid in July 2023, which examined electricity storage in Great Britain. This report demonstrates that at the end of 2022, there was 29.5GWh/5.25GW of total electricity storage capacity on the system (up from 27.5GWh in 2021).