As the UK and Ireland’s clean energy champion, we are on track to invest £25bn this decade to accelerate progress towards net zero.

We are currently building more offshore wind than anyone in the world, including the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, and own and operate three of Britain’s electricity networks. To support the global push to decarbonise, we are increasing our capital investment by two thirds – helping support tens of thousands of jobs in communities across the UK and Ireland.

What is net zero and how do we achieve it?

"In recent years we have made great progress in focusing the SSE Group on the delivery of the electricity infrastructure needed in the transition to net zero. We are constructing more offshore wind than anyone else in the world right now and expanding overseas, delivering the electricity networks needed for net zero and pioneering carbon capture, hydrogen and battery technologies to deliver system flexibility.

"Our Net Zero Acceleration Programme represents the next phase of SSE's growth and involves a substantial ramping up of investment - equivalent to nearly £7m each day in net zero infrastructure - backed up by clear delivery and funding plans. It builds on our existing strong platform for growth and highly desirable pipeline to create significant value for shareholders and wider society while further enhancing the long-term potential of the business.

"SSE will maximise its long-term potential and capture growth opportunities during a critical time for the energy sector, strengthening and growing its core businesses, creating jobs, delivering for wider society and offering attractive shareholder returns."

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive Officer, SSE plc

Hear more from Alistair Phillips-Davies here

"The Board of Directors carefully considered a range of strategic alternatives for the next phase of SSE’s growth and development. Having reviewed all options and taken independent advice this resulting strategic update significantly accelerates growth in our core businesses, whilst providing efficient and competitive sources of financing and ensuring SSE continues as a reliable and resilient operator of critical infrastructure."

Sir John Manzoni, Chair, SSE plc

The UK and Ireland's national clean energy champion

As the UK and Ireland’s national clean energy champion, we're investing £12.5bn by 2026 – 65% uplift on previous plan – putting us on track to invest £25bn this decade. This equates to around £7m a day to be spent on critical low-carbon infrastructure needed in net zero transition.

Our Net Zero Acceleration Programme will deliver, by 2026:

  • £1bn additional capital investment per year versus previous plans
  • A doubling of existing renewables net installed capacity to 8GW
  • A sustainable renewables development pipeline in excess of 15GW
  • Over 2.5 times more capital allocated to renewables growth
  • Growth in electricity networks, increasing Regulated Asset Value (RAV) to £9bn

The new programme will enable delivery of over 20% of the UK’s 50GW offshore wind target by 2030 and over 20% of the necessary upcoming electricity networks investment in the UK, as well as continuing its international expansion.

The programme will be supported by further partnering in renewables and up to 25% minority stake sales in SSEN Transmission and SSEN Distribution. With electricity demand set to more than double in the transition to net zero, we see significant growth potential in these core networks businesses and selling minority stakes will enable it to unlock this growth to the fullest whilst maintaining an attractive balance of capital allocation across the Group.

We have also set out a new, growth-enabling dividend plan from 2023/24, paying at least £3.50 per share across the five years. Correspondingly, after fulfilment of existing commitments to 2023, we will rebase our dividend to 60 pence in 23/24, before targeting at least 5% dividend increases in 24/25 and 25/26.

Capital investment plans to 2026

In 2021, we identified significant further attractive growth opportunities for additional investment across the Group. These include opportunities above and beyond our already approved capital expenditure plans under RIIO-T2; in projects from our highly attractive renewables pipeline; in medium- to long-term growth options in flexible technologies critical to net zero in the form of pumped storage hydro, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and batteries; and in selective partnerships focusing on international expansion in renewables.

With these opportunities in mind, we have now set out a new five-year capex plan that aligns capital allocation with our greenhouse gas emission targets and our changing energy mix.

In doing so, we seek to maximise total shareholder returns from both earnings and asset value growth from its wealth of net zero-orientated opportunities, while remunerating shareholders with a rebased dividend with attractive growth. The plan represents a floor target, not a ceiling, and we will be well positioned to take other opportunities as they emerge.

Accelerating decarbonisation with our new 2030 goals

Looking further ahead, we have set out a series of ambitious targets for the next decade to 2030, focusing on four core business goals, aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to drive faster decarbonisation across the next decade.

Supporting Scottish and UK net zero targets it will also enable the connection of at least 20GW of renewable electricity generation to its north of Scotland electricity Transmission network and enable around two million electric vehicles and one million heat pumps on its electricity distribution networks in the north of Scotland and southern central England by 2030.

The 2030 Goals are already linked to executive remuneration but it is also proposing to increase the emphasis on sustainability overall as well as focusing it more to the longer term.

The Goals increase the company’s climate ambitions and are part of its drive for net zero which saw the business unveil a £12.5 billion Net Zero Acceleration Programme in November.

The last 18 months have also seen us become a leader on the just transition to net zero, with our ranking at the top of the World Benchmarking Alliance’s just transition assessment of 180 global companies. Our fourth 2030 Goal will continue this leadership and champion a fair and just energy transition, by guaranteeing fair work, committing to paying fair tax and sharing economic value.

After breaking new ground when we first announced our SDG-aligned 2030 Goals in 2019, this update makes the targets more stretching after strong delivery over the last three years.

SSE’s new 2030 Goals are to:

  1. Cut carbon intensity by 80%
    Reduce Scope 1 carbon intensity by 80% by 2030, compared to 2017/18 levels, to 61gCO2e/kWh.
  2. Increase renewable energy output fivefold
    Build a renewable energy portfolio that generates at least 50TWh of renewable electricity a year by 2030.
  3. Enable low-carbon generation and demand
    Enable at least 20GW of renewable generation and facilitate around 2 million EVs and 1 million heat pumps on SSEN’s electricity networks by 2030.
  4. Champion a fair and just energy transition
    Be a global leader for the just transition to net zero, with a guarantee of fair work and commitment to paying fair tax and sharing economic value.

Chief Sustainability Officer, Rachel McEwen said:

"Going harder in cutting carbon intensity – from a 50% reduction to 80% – is what I call ‘net zero acceleration in action’ and is exactly what everyone was calling for at COP26.

"Achieving net zero requires a relentless focus, huge swathes of investment and the strategic foresight to go about it in a way that creates a cleaner, greener, and fairer world for the future.

"Our Net Zero Acceleration Programme, has ramped up the pace and scale of our ambitions with £12.5bn of investment in developing and building the low-carbon infrastructure needed to decarbonise.

"Our 2030 Goals ensure SSE’s might is focused on the areas that can simultaneously create value for shareholders and for society for the long term."

An ambitious plan for the future

At its core, our Net Zero Acceleration Programme has a capital spending plan that is fully fundable and deliverable. It enables 1.5 degree aligned science-based targets as well as providing a platform for ambitious growth into the 2030s and beyond, creating lasting value for shareholders and society during what promises to be a pivotal period in the fight against climate change.

But our investment in a clean, green energy system doesn’t stop there. In fact, for every £1 in we made in profit this financial year (2021/22), we contributed £2.24 to the UK and Irish economies, and we plan to continue invest more than we make. Over the next decade, we’re investing over £25bn in the UK and Ireland’s electricity infrastructure system, providing a huge boost to the UK’s clean energy ambitions. This investment will be in cutting edge developments including some of the world’s largest offshore and onshore wind projects, critical network upgrades, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and hydro-electric power. In doing so, we will enable the delivery of more sustainable homegrown energy by reducing reliance on imported gas and helping keep costs down for consumers in the future.