Developer SSE has written to the UK’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to encourage him to seize the opportunity to unite the country behind the UK’s commitment to net zero, starting with more offshore wind
“The UK is the first G7 country to enshrine a commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and Mr Johnson has already backed the Net Zero target,” said SEE. “But this ambitious target will require ambitious action from government and industry, and SSE believes there are priorities for government to focus on and show that it is serious about setting the UK on the right course for net zero.”
In its letter to the Prime Minister, SSE’s chief executive Alistair Philips-Davies asked Mr Johnson to lift the cap on the potential for renewable energy.
“Renewables will power the UK in a net zero future with offshore and onshore wind energy playing a crucial role as we decarbonise large sectors of the economy by switching from fossil fuels to low carbon electricity,” it said.
“The electrification of heat and transport in particular will require a significant increase in renewable energy capacity by 2050. The foundations have been laid with the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and commitment to regular low carbon contract auctions (CfDs) in the coming years.
“However, SSE believes that the government will need to raise its ambition for CfD auctions to deliver more than the current target of 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. At least 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 should be the aim if we are to stay on course for the 2050 target. Increasing the 6-GW capacity cap in the 2019 allocation would mark a significant first step towards net zero by delivering more renewable power in a way that is straightforward and cost effective for consumers.”
In his letter, SSE’s chief executive also said that onshore wind offers an even cheaper low carbon option and the government should take the opportunity “to look at how we can provide a subsidy-free route to market for both new onshore wind energy schemes and the repowering of existing windfarms which are reaching the end of their operational life.”
He also asked the Prime Minister to commit to a strong, long-term price for carbon and focus on electricity infrastructure.