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Engaging from a position of strength
SSE is focused on being part of the solution to the climate crisis, with the capabilities, businesses and assets to create value from efforts to tackle global warming. It is very deliberately aligned to prevailing government policy direction, with net zero at the heart of the business. COP26, where the UK Government asked SSE to participate as a Principal Partner, served to highlight the critical importance and global relevance of the Group’s strategy.
Investing in a net zero future
The completion of the sale of SSE’s remaining 33.3% stake in SGN marked the final step in a strategic disposals programme announced in June 2020 to streamline the Group and sharpen its focus on net zero.
Powering on with Group delivery
The 2021/22 year marked a number of significant project milestones across the SSE Group. SSE Renewables made good progress at Seagreen, the world’s deepest, fixed-bottom wind farm, and offshore construction commenced at Dogger Bank, currently the world’s biggest offshore wind farm at 3.6GW.
Growing our renewables pipeline
The Net Zero Acceleration Programme promises a trebling of SSE’s renewables capacity by 2031 with early delivery already under way. SSE is currently building more offshore wind than anyone else in the world and its renewables business continues to expand its sector leading pipeline, now standing at 11GW with opportunities in development to grow this to a sustained target of 15GW.
Building networks fit for net zero
With electricity demand expected to more than double by 2050, regulated electricity networks are at the heart of the transition to net zero. SSEN Transmission and SSEN Distribution continue to be critical to SSE’s strategy and balanced business mix.
Pioneering CCS and hydrogen
While renewable generation and enabling electricity networks are at the heart of the Net Zero Acceleration Programme, it is clear that flexible low-carbon power will be vital to ensure security of supply when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
Further and faster at COP26
The cornerstone of SSE’s engagement with government and regulators in 2021/22 was the Company’s Principal Partnership with the UK Government on COP26. SSE was able to showcase its standing as a national clean energy champion in what was a significant stepping up of engagement activity in the lead-up to, during and after the Glasgow event.
Enhancing climate engagement with shareholders
Having worked closely with investor group Climate Action 100+ over 2020/21, SSE proposed an enabling resolution to its July 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) asking shareholders to accept and approve the Company’s proposal to adopt a plan to become net zero across its scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Supporting workers transition from high to low-carbon careers
Over 2021/22, SSE undertook wide-ranging stakeholder engagement on its just transition approach. This included meeting and consulting with policy makers, trade union partners, suppliers, oil and gas companies, investors, academics, and industry and skills bodies. Most importantly though, SSE sought insights from its own employees.
Responding to exceptional weather events
In response to a 2021/22 winter of consecutive exceptional weather events, SSEN Distribution teams worked tirelessly to maintain supply with a particular focus on supporting isolated and vulnerable customers. Between November 2021 and February 2022, SSE’s network areas in both north and south were tested by six exceptional weather events, including back-to-back named storms with three storms occurring in just one week.