SSE is building the electricity infrastructure that will help deliver net zero

SSE’s purpose is to provide the energy needed today while building a better world of energy for tomorrow. We do this by developing, building, operating and investing in world-class electricity infrastructure that is vital to the clean energy transition.  

A FTSE-100 company headquartered in the UK, SSE has a growing presence in selected international markets A signatory to the Race to Zero with science-based targets backed by the SBTi, SSE was 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.

Our commitment to sustainability

The principles of sustainability are embedded into SSE’s strategy with the careful management of environmental and social impact being central to ensuring the long-term success of the company. SSE has aligned its business strategy to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing a powerful framework to guide the creation of shared value for shareholders and society.

“At SSE, we not only recognise the need for urgent action on climate change, but we are deploying massive amounts of capital to tackle it, building the vital infrastructure that will help accelerate the world’s journey to net zero emissions." 

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive

Our call to action

The need to increase the pace of decarbonisation has never been more compelling or urgent. The climate emergency and cost-of-living crisis both show the risks of continuing to rely on a system so dependent on volatile fossil fuels. And we know that clean power is the first step towards decarbonising wider economies. So the answer is to build clean, homegrown energy and the infrastructure that supports it. But around the world, this isn’t happening fast enough.

At SSE, we are already building some of the world’s largest clean energy projects, with an investment programme that could reach more than £40bn in the next decade. But we want to go further and faster and we look forward to working with policymakers, industry, NGOs and other stakeholders on the following key priorities to deliver a net zero energy system:

Accelerate renewables deployment

The development of renewable energy not only helps tackle climate change but boosts energy security too.  But it still takes too long to build this vital infrastructure.  A new offshore wind farm, for instance, can take more than decade to go through planning and consenting approvals.  This is too slow.  Accelerating the deployment of renewable technologies is therefore essential to speeding up the journey to net zero.  

Invest strategically in grid infrastructure

Electricity networks are the vital arteries of the power system, transporting energy from where it is generated to where it is needed most.  As the world decarbonises demand for electricity is expected to double, at least.  It is therefore vital that we invest and build the electricity networks the world needs ahead of demand so that they are enablers, not blockers, of net zero emissions. 

Build new flexible capacity

As energy systems become increasingly renewables-led we will need new and cleaner ways to keep the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine.  This means developing innovative flexible power generation technologies such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen as well as building more pumped hydro storage and batteries.    

Ensure a just and inclusive transition for workers, consumers and communities

In delivering the energy transition, we must ensure that the benefits are shared widely, whilst preventing an unfair burden of the costs on those least able to afford it. Our Just Transition Strategy outlines 20 principles to promote a fair and just transition for workers, consumers and communities when transitioning.

SSE thought leadership – unlocking expertise

SSE works with a broad range of experts and stakeholders to inform our decision-making and help contribute to society’s understanding of the key challenges and solutions in transitioning to a net zero world.

University of Oxford

COP28 Renewable Energy Developers Global South Study. With growing climate ambitions and a push to reach Net Zero, we know the clean energy transition will happen in the developed world, it is just a matter of how quickly. In terms of investment, there is no shortage of interest from developers and competition. However, mitigating climate change will require the transition to happen on a global scale, and attracting more developers to the Global South will be a key priority. SSE, Oxford Smith School and SEforALL are therefore seeking to produce ground-breaking insights into developers' attitudes to these markets and the conditions that must be put in place to make investments more attractive. 

The partnership will combine academic scholarship with direct engagement of practitioners on the ground, with the first paper of the multi-year study to consider clean energy investment opportunities in Global South countries from a developer’s lens, setting the current investment landscape. The paper will be launched on the SDG7 pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28.

You can read the report here.

Imperial College London

We've commissioned two pieces of research from the Centre for Environmental Policy looking at measuring progress on electricity system decarbonisation. The first looks at the clean electricity progress of the G7 looking at different metrics to measure ambition under a 'clean electricity scorecard'. The second looks at increases to clean electricity ambition in the UK, and how that may impact the UK's 5th and 6th Carbon Budgets ahead of updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2025.

University of Edinburgh

Alongside technical and policy questions, a key consideration for the energy industry is skills in the context of a just transition. From skills for new apprentices and graduates to retraining and upskilling experienced workers, building a skills pipeline is crucial for building robust supply chains and delivering projects to decarbonize the UK’s energy system by 2030. SSE has partnered with the University of Edinburgh to identify sunset, and sunrise industries and transition pathways to ensure we meet the skills needs of tomorrow while collaborating across industry stakeholders.

SSE COP28 presence

If you are interested in joining any of the below events, please register via this registration form and one of the team will come back to you. Please note that we may not be able to accommodate all requests. 

Roundtable (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Monday 4 December, 12:00 – 14:00 (Dubai, Gulf Standard Time)  

Title: SSE, National Grid and Hitachi Energy: Supply Chain and Transmission Roundtable

Location: The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Pavilion 

Detail: The aim of this grids-focused roundtable is to discuss and share the learning and best practices discovered by the governments and organisations who are part of the energy transition. Hosts SSE, National Grid, and Hitachi Energy have considerable experience of how to accelerate major projects, including implementing first of a kind technologies, and will share their insights – with a reference to the new major transmission link, Eastern Green Link 2, that they are partnering to deliver.  We invite attendees to provide their perspectives, from the UK and globally, to help share learning that can help accelerate the development of the strategic grid infrastructure so pivotal to the energy transition and, in turn, mitigating climate change.  

Our senior guests will include:  

  • Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE plc
  • Claudio Facchin, CEO of Hitachi Energy 
  • Julie Taylor, Director, Commercial, Regulation and Supply Chain, National Grid  


Date/Time: Monday 4 December, 15:30 – 16:30 (Dubai, Gulf Standard Time)

Title: The Role of Innovative Policymaking in the Energy Transition

Location: We Mean Business - Business and Buildings Pavilion

Detail: Achieving the clean energy transition globally at the pace needed to mitigate the worst effects of climate change will require $35 trillion of investment by 2030, according to IRENA’s latest World Energy Transitions Outlook. Yearly investments will need to more than quadruple from 2022 levels.

Governments around the world are responding, most notably the US with its groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the EU with its Green Deal Industrial Plan. In the UK, ahead of an upcoming General Election, the main party in Opposition has made a net zero power sector by 2030 central to one of its five key missions, with the creation of a new state-owned entity, GB Energy, at the core of its plan for the state to play a more active role in facilitating private investment. Non-state actors will also be critical in delivering the transition, with the Scottish Government making bold commitments to deliver up to 27.6GW of offshore wind through its ScotWind leasing round and is innovating to attract capital into building domestic supply chains.

This panel event will bring together key policymakers, investors and developers to discuss these developments, what has worked so far and what further innovation may be needed to drive the next stage of acceleration.

Invited speakers include:

  • Andrew Light, Assistant Secretary, US Department of Energy (invited)
  • Humza Yousaf, First Minister of Scotland (invited)
  • Rt Hon Ed Miliband, Shadow UK Climate Secretary, formerly Energy Secretary and Leader of the Opposition (invited)
  • Martin Pibworth, Chief Commercial Officer, SSE plc

Dinner (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Monday 4 December, 19:00 – late

Title: SSE, GWEC, GGI senior energy and climate leaders’ dinner: delivering the clean power breakthrough

Location: Upon request (Dubai Marina area)

Detail: This dinner will discuss the progress made under the Power Breakthrough Agenda, and bring together global perspectives on the progress made and action needed and will touch on the key enablers required to unlock the scale of renewables deployment, including permitting, grids, supply chains and policy frameworks. With UK and US Govt speakers, SSE CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies, Ben Backwell, GWEC CEO and a government representative from the Green Grids Initiative.

Invited speakers include:

  • Dave Turk, Deputy Secretary, US Department of Energy (invited)
  • Baroness Penn, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (invited)
  • Sir Alok Sharma, COP26 President
  • Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Champion
  • Mairi McAllan, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Scottish Government
  • Martin Pibworth, Chief Commercial Officer, SSE plc


Date/Time: Tuesday 5 December  
Title: SSE, University of Oxford Smith-School, Sustainable Energy for All, Unlocking Renewables Deployment in the Global South

Location: SDG7 Global South Pavilion

 Detail: The transition to renewable energy is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for inclusive and sustainable development, but this is complicated by the shifting risk profile of projects in the Global South. The event will feature the launch of a new report from the University of Oxford that highlights the baseline issues, evolving risk landscape and huge opportunities for developers to achieve projects at scale in markets in the Global South. Co-hosted by the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, SSE plc and Sustainable

Speakers include:

  • Prof. Cameron Hepburn, Oxford University
  • Alistair Phillips-Davies, MD, SSE
  • Damilola Ogunbiyi, MD, SEforALL
  • Tariye Gbadegesin, ARM-Harish Infrastructure Investment Ltd
  • Lars Gert Lose, Associate Partner and Head of Global Public Affairs, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Roundtable (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Tuesday 5 December, 12:30 – 13:30    

SSE, Equinor - Lessons from Dogger Bank, the World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm

Location: UK Government Pavilion

Detail: SSE and Equinor host an invite-only roundtable discussion to explore the key lessons learnt from building the world’s largest offshore wind farm and how to kickstart the next generation of projects.

The offshore wind industry, so critical to the energy transition, is, ironically, facing headwinds.  Cost inflation, supply chain and consenting challenges have seen developers struggling to advance their projects and fresh impetus is needed.  But there are reasons to be positive. When complete in 2026 the Dogger Bank wind farm will become the biggest in the world, able to produce enough electricity to power around 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. Utilising the latest Haliade-X turbine technology from GE, installed by the world’s largest jack-up vessel, a single turn of its 107m blades can generate enough electricity to power a home for two days.

Despite the mammoth project being a first of a kind on multiple levels, presenting unique challenges, first power was generated this summer in a major milestone for the industry – demonstrating what can be achieved when project partners, policymakers and supply chains come together.

This discussion will bring together key partners involved in the Dogger Bank project who can touch on some of the key lessons learnt from getting a project of this scale off the ground. The discussion will touch on finance, supply chains and overall approach and will provide an opportunity to discuss how these lessons can be applied elsewhere.


Date/Time: Tuesday 5 December, 14:15

Title: North Sea Transition Panel

Location: UK Government Pavilion

Detail: UK Government’s event: Charting the course in the North Sea: Lessons on accelerating the clean energy transition and international collaboration. This event follows the above event and networking session and will include a series of keynote speeches, panel sessions and networking with UK Ministers.


Date/Time: Wednesday 6 December, 10:00 – 11:00

Title: Implementing a Plan of Action: Investing in Grids as an Energy Transition Enabler

Location: Global Renewables Alliance Pavilion

Detail: Aging, insufficient and disconnected grid infrastructure is holding back the global clean energy transition and presents a risk to achieving the global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030, and keeping 1.5 degrees within reach. It is vital that Governments address these challenges, and mandate the build-up of the electricity grid networks [and supply chains] to support the transition from fossil fuel sources, particularly coal, and integrate growing volumes of renewable energies. The renewables industry needs a strong and long-term commitment. Technical and regulatory barriers to renewables integration persist and are increasingly complex, but international cooperation and capacity-building mechanisms are unlocking paths forward.

This event will launch the Green Grids Initiative’s Electricity Transition Playbook, showcasing the range of solutions required to transition grids whilst the panel will stress the urgency of addressing challenges facing grid operators with increased planning, rapid scaling of investment and buildout both at transmission and distribution level to deploy renewable technologies more efficiently and sustainability. The event will discuss new types of partnerships between the private sector and governments to expand grids that would safeguard the strategic value of grids as energy security assets.

Speakers include Rob McDonald, Managing Director, SSEN Transmission.

Roundtable (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Wednesday 6 December, 13:00 – 14:00   

Title: Net Zero Transition Roundtable

Location: SDG7 Global South Pavilion

Detail: At SSE, our £40bn capital investment programme across the decade to 2032 is squarely focused on accelerating renewables, reinforcing networks and providing vital system flexibility. We are delivering the right action, right now. But we are acutely aware that our actions need to be sustainable for people and planet. While renewable energy is intrinsically a key contributor to a net zero future, it comes with its own carbon footprint.

SSE Renewables is committed to ensuring that the transition to a renewable energy system is truly sustainable. Against this backdrop, we would be delighted to invite you to a closed-door roundtable at COP 28 to discuss how we are approaching our net zero transition plan.

This invite-only private roundtable will take place on December 6, 13:00-14:00 local time in the SEforALL, SDG 7 Pavilion and convene our key suppliers and other stakeholders who will be critical in enabling us to meet bold and ambitious net zero targets. More information will follow in due course.

Roundtable (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Wednesday 6 December, 13:30 – 14:30

Title: SSE, Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the Long Duration Energy Storage Council Flexibility, the missing link in the clean energy transition

Location: We Mean Business - Business and Buildings Pavilion

Detail: For many years now the focus of the clean energy transition has been on the need to accelerate deployment of renewable energy. Great progress has already been made and, even now, momentum is building behind a goal of trebling renewable capacity by 2030. In recent years, this has led to a keener emphasis on the need for strategic investment in electricity grid infrastructure to ensure that this surge in capacity can be connected and transported.

Building renewables and grid infrastructure is clearly essential. However, there is far less debate on the vital subject of how we keep the lights on and ensure affordability in a renewables and nuclear-led energy system characterised by intermittency and inflexibility. Historically, this role has been played by unabated coal and gas-fired generation – and there is now an urgent need to find lower-carbon solutions to avoid further carbon lock-in.

Whether it’s carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen, batteries or long-duration storage like pumped hydro, solutions do exist but will need to be scaled and deployed far more rapidly to meet the growing need to balance the system and maximise the amount of renewable energy which can be harnessed productively. These technologies face unique challenges and will require innovative policy approaches, but progress to date has been slow.

This roundtable discussion aims to bring together senior policymakers, developers, OEMs and thought leaders to discuss how we can deliver the low-carbon flexibility solutions of the future at the required pace and scale to ensure the clean energy transition is delivered in a secure and affordable way.

Roundtable (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Wednesday 6 December, 15:00 – 16:30

Title: From end to end: sustainability and transparency in the power sector value chain

Location: The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Pavilion

Detail: The Powering Net Zero Pact, formed at COP26 in Glasgow, is an alliance of power sector companies with a shared objective to achieve net zero in a way that’s good for people and nature. At COP28 a special roundtable discussion has been designed to bring together utilities, OEMs, and the mining industry.

The importance of key minerals and metals is well understood as they are the foundation for several technologies that enable the decarbonisation of our economies.  But we also understand that low-carbon power generation and the infrastructure that enables it, mustn’t come at a cost to local environments, indigenous peoples, or communities.

It is for this reason; that this round table will ask the key questions:

  • How can we support each other to build end-to-end traceability in multi-tier supply chains?
  • Where does responsibility for the sustainability of critical components lie?
  • How can we jointly promote responsible mining activities along the value chain?
  • And, what must be done by each element of the power sector value stream to root out injustice and deliver a power system that is good for people and nature?

Dinner (Invite Only)

Date/Time: Wednesday 6 December, 19:00 – late

Title: SSE, Corporate Leaders Group – Private CEO Dinner

Location: Upon request (Dubai Marina Area)

Detail: Annual networking drinks reception and dinner discussion will bring together a select group of UK and international policymakers, businesses and key stakeholders on the fringes of COP28 to explore lessons from around the globe on accelerating the energy transition and identifying key areas for action.

The event will build on the success of last year's dinner at COP27, with a UK government speaker, Chris Stark CEO of the Committee on Climate Change, and other global speakers.