I’m proud of how quickly and effectively ScottishPower responded to the challenges posed by the crisis and I’m truly grateful to all my colleagues for their tremendous efforts.
To keep power flowing to homes and businesses, we’ve worked tirelessly to maintain and reinforce the energy network. And we’ve gone the extra mile to protect power supplies to critical facilities like hospitals and essential businesses.
We have ensured continued generation from our onshore and offshore wind farms, providing the clean, green energy we all want and need.
And we’ve worked extremely hard to support our customers through these tough times. Thousands of homes and businesses have taken advantage of our flexible payment options, while we’ve helped those most in need by issuing more than half a million pounds in credit on pre-loaded payment cards for customers.
While we remain committed to supporting customers and colleagues throughout these unprecedented times, now is also the time to start planning for the future – for how we take the first steps towards economic recovery and help people, businesses and communities find their feet again.
As a company, ScottishPower was the first of its kind to go 100 per cent green – we only produce renewable electricity. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we think the best way to get the economy moving again is to accelerate investment in green infrastructure initiatives that help deliver cleaner power, cleaner transport, and cleaner home heating.
More than ever before, the economic and environmental advantages of this investment are aligned. A win for the economy in terms of jobs – and a win for the environment in terms of getting closer to our Net Zero targets.
Think about it. Onshore and offshore wind power technologies are now the lowest cost and most proven means of delivering rapid decarbonisation. Alongside the greater consumer demand we expect to see for electric vehicles and clean heating solutions, this creates a compelling case for accelerating investment in a cleaner, greener society.
With the COP26 global climate change conference now confirmed as coming to Glasgow next year, we should seize the moment for making our recovery green. Political leaders and industry regulator Ofgem have underscored how important it is for us to realise our Net Zero ambitions. Working with businesses like ours, there’s a real opportunity for us all to deliver job-creating investment in a greener future.
And there’s no shortage of green infrastructure projects out there – from innovations like battery storage to make the best use of wind energy to changing how people heat their homes; from using smart metering technology to dramatically streamline energy usage to getting ready for the electric vehicle revolution. Every one of these is an example of where companies like ScottishPower – strong pillars of the economy – could be investing if the regulatory conditions are right.
In fact, across our networks, renewables and retail businesses, we plan to invest nearly £1.5 billion this year alone. Undeterred by the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve continued to invest and we’ve continued to support suppliers – keeping up the momentum on delivering infrastructure projects that will be essential for the path to Net Zero.
Investing in renewables delivers jobs, kickstarts the economy and tackles climate change – all at the same time.
We’ve continued to make contractual commitments for work on the giant battery storage project at our Whitelee wind farm and recently completed the installation of all 102 turbines at our East Anglia One offshore wind farm. Last month also marked the acquisition of onshore wind assets in South Lanarkshire that will deliver 165MW of electricity – generating enough energy to power 100,000 homes.
We expect to maintain our investment plans over the coming months as we continue to lead from the front to help provide the impetus and catalyst for a green recovery.
We’ve made fantastic progress towards Net Zero. And crucially, there’s genuine momentum behind how we shape our greener future. We’ve seen climate change move to the mainstream of political debate amid a groundswell of public support for us to make faster progress in cleaning up the environment and decarbonising the economy.
That support and those voices for a greener future will only continue to grow as we start to come out of the current pandemic. We’re already seeing signs of this, with people recognising the positive impact on the environment of the lockdown restrictions such as less pollution.
It’s clear we have two crises to deal with. While coronavirus required an immediate response and the climate crisis has been long in the making, it finally feels like everyone is waking up to the dangers of climate change and clear goals for becoming carbon neutral are being set.
There is no doubt in my mind that rebuilding our economy must be permanently linked with investment in green technologies, which will allow us all to achieve a better future, quicker.
ScottishPower will continue to lead the way in doing this and we hope you will join us.
Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower