Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) may pledge over £4bn in the push for net zero, the energy giant said in a draft business plan today.
The draft plan for 2023 to 2028, which was led by stakeholders according to SSEN, set goals like cutting unplanned power interruptions by 20 per cent and connecting a further 1.3m EV charge points.
SSEN added that it plans to slash its carbon footprint by 35 per cent, to align itself with the Paris Agreement as well as create a £1bn net zero foundation.
“The need to transform our energy system to address the climate emergency has never been clearer and it is critical that local electricity networks are an enabler rather than a constraint as we work toward a shared net zero future,” SSEN distribution managing director, Chris Burchell, said.
Local electricity networks will be a key to net zero emissions, SSEN said, as the UK shifts to electric heat and transport.
Shift to electric
The energy giant looks poised to capitalise on the expected surge in electricity demand along the road to net zero, as it said, “vehicle ownership is forecast to increase from 30,000 today to 5m by 2050 with 2.5m heat pumps installed during the same period.”
SSEN, which operates under British and Scottish governments, is bound by net zero targets of 2050 and 2045, respectively.
“The Climate Change Committee has forecast that a shift in low carbon technologies (LCTs) could almost treble the demand on electricity networks by 2050,” the energy giant said in a statement.
Over the five year period, £400m would be allocated to improving and its digitalising systems. Meanwhile, £2.2bn will be invested in ‘asset resilience’, with half of it going towards its foundation for net zero demands.
“There will inevitably be a degree of uncertainty in the years ahead as energy policy and targets continue to accelerate, therefore it is essential that Ofgem supports us by providing an agile regulatory framework that helps deliver a network where customers can switch to EVs and other net zero technologies with ease at a time they choose,” Burchell added.
“We will continue working with our customers and stakeholders over the coming months to further refine our proposals and help strengthen our plan to power communities to net zero.”