Britain’s SSE to Invest Up to £40 Billion in Clean Energy Projects This Decade

British power generator SSE on Wednesday announced plans to invest up to £40 billion this decade in renewable energy projects and urged the government to make sure the country stays competitive. Britain aims to ramp up renewable capacity as its seeks to become carbon neutral by 2050 and to become less reliant on energy imports following the supply disruptin caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“What we want to see is an acceleration of pace and to make sure the UK can compete with places like the US with their IRA act,” Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive said.

Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) signed into law last year delivers a support package of $370 billion for green transition technologies.

Phillips-Davies did not rule out SSE investing in the United States in the future but said he expects Europe to remain the core market.

Britain has a contracts-for-difference (CfD) scheme to help spur investment in new renewable projects, offering a guaranteed minimum price for the electricity they produce.

Prices under the system have fallen significantly over the past few years, particularly for offshore wind projects, but Phillips-Davies said policy makers will need to get used to an end to continually record low prices.

“Policy makers, I think, need to be resetting where (prices) are particularly given all the supply chain inflation,” he said.

Britain’s latest CfD auction round has set an auction price of £45 per megawatt hour for offshore wind which many developers have said could be too low to bring forward projects.

SSE’s investment plans were announced on the back of the company posted adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.18 billion for the year ended March 31, almost doubling from £1.16 billion reported a year earlier on the back of high energy prices and strong renewable power generation.

SSE said it had also allocated £43 million for the final quarter of the financial year for Britain’s Energy Generator’s Levy, a windfall tax placed on power companies from January in the wake of record high energy prices last year.

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