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SSE bids to double down on carbon intensity reductions

Image: SSE.

Image: SSE.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has doubled down on its efforts to reduce its power’s carbon intensity, aiming to halve its emissions per kilowatt hour once again by 2030.

And the utility has also said it is working towards setting a more comprehensive science-based target to take into account emissions across the entire SSE group, with further targets set to be outlined before the end of the next financial year.

The announcement, made earlier today to coincide with the firm’s annual results, also followed comfirmation that SSE is to push ahead with plans to develop Keadby 2, a new 710MW CCGT plant, without the guarantee of a capacity contract in a bid to, the company said, push older, less efficient and less clean CCGTs off the grid.

SSE in 2006 aimed to effectively halve its generation carbon intensity by 2020, a target it first met in March 2017. However the utility has considered its ambitions out to 2030 in light of the Paris Climate Agreement and the ambitious emission reductions targets included therein.

As a result, SSE now intends to reduce the carbon intensity of its electricity production by another 50%, based on 2017/18 levels, by 2030.

Such a reduction would see SSE’s carbon intensity fall to around 150g CO2/kWh, a target which it says is consistent with the Paris Agreement.

SSE has said it reached those targets, and how to achieve them, through modelling a number of scenarios wherein it develops the majority of its existing generation pipeline.

However it has also argued that its carbon intensity will fluctuate depending on the requirements of electricity customers, which the utility has also added may result in “some departure” from today’s central scenarios due to the pace of change in the energy market.   

Grid carbon intensity has come under the spotlight in recent times as renewable generation has soared. Figures from Drax Energy Insights have revealed that over the last month the average grid carbon intensity has stood at around 194g CO2/kWh, a fall of around 6% on the corresponding period in 2017. 

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