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Banking on the right solutions to invest in our net zero future

15 Jul 2021

Getting to net zero requires serious investment. By committing to investing over £7.5bn in low carbon infrastructure over the five-year period to 2025, SSE is more than playing its part. And of course, there’s also the not so small matter of our sponsorship of COP26 later in November.

But it can’t be solely down to the private sector when it comes to getting us on the road to net zero. That’s why I’m delighted to welcome David Lunn, Chief Operating Officer, The UK National Infrastructure Bank, for a webinar on the role it can play in driving investment in low carbon infrastructure.

The UK National Infrastructure Bank will have an initial £12 billion of capital to deploy and will be able to issue £10 billion of government guarantees, helping to unlock more than £40 billion of overall investment.

As we build towards the COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow in November, our discussion is very timely. Not least to consider the role for both the private and public sector to get the infrastructure built that we all need to make net zero a reality; not just an ambition.

I’m looking forward to hearing from David, as well as all our panelists, on how we can get the exciting but necessary projects off the ground that will help to decarbonise society.

As head of the distributed energy part of SSE (now called SSE Energy Solutions) I’ve seen how we can dovetail with early stage central funding when it comes to allowing us as a private sector company to then step in with our expertise.

We have for example, a host of exciting distributed energy projects in the Leeds area, where we hope to invest up to £97m across battery storage, district heating and rapid EV charging hubs. This would not be possible without a forward thinking and dynamic local authority. Therefore, I am delighted Polly Cook is also able to join us from Leeds City Council.

This is also what happened with our distributed energy project with Goldsmiths University in London. In common with the partnerships we provide to organisations up and down the UK, we are teaming up with Goldsmiths to design and deliver a low carbon campus infrastructure in pursuit of their ambitious net zero targets.

The project will see us consolidate all of Goldsmiths’ significant energy consuming buildings onto a centralised campus-wide heat and power network – saving an average of 1,375 tonnes of CO2 per year – and reducing gas consumption on site by 77%.

But without funding from central government in the first instance, this project would never have got off the ground.

SSE is playing a significant role as a principal partner for COP26, and we see the bigger picture when it comes to net zero. We help organisations plot their net zero journeys by bringing a ‘whole system approach’ to decarbonisation – rather than focussing on single technology solutions.

Do register and join our webinar to hear moreit’s 2pm on Thursday July 15th.

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