‘We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy’
Scottish Power is the first of the UK’s major energy suppliers to completely stop using fossil fuels to generate their electricity in favour of wind power.
Referring to the sale as a “pivotal shift”, the Glasgow based company (owned by Spanish parent company Iberdrola) has sold its Generation business to Drax Smart Generation for £702 million. The sale includes both gas and hydro power stations such as the Lanark and Galloway hydro-schemes, Cruachan pumped storage power station in Argyll and Bute and the Daldowie fuel plant near Glasgow.
Chief executive of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, said:
“We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy. We have closed coal, sold gas and built enough wind to power 1.2 million homes.”
Kate Blagojevic, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said:
“Big utilities across Europe have been shedding their dirty fossil fuel infrastructure because it makes economic and environmental sense. This move by Scottish Power shows that the same maths adds up in the UK too. Climate science could not be clearer that renewables are the future for powering our world.”
Renewable energy has once again been the centre of much debate recently after a United Nations report which stated major changes would be needed across the world to limit the worst effects of climate change including a 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
The UK government has also asked its climate advisers and experts to recommend the best strategies for achieving the new targets and limits set out in the report. The government has already decreed that coal power should be phased out by 2025 and Scottish Power has already closed all of its coal plants and has 2,700MW of wind power projects operating or in the pipeline. The firm’s Spanish parent company Iberdrola’s goal is to be completely carbon neutral by 2050.
While some smaller UK energy suppliers are already generating their electricity through completely renewable technologies like wind turbines, solar panels and hydro sources, Scottish Power are the first of the Big Six to make the switch.
Scottish Power will still be supplying customers from some non-renewable sources as they continue to purchase from other operators, but the company has also outlined plans to invest £5.2 billion in renewable technology over the next 4 years to double its energy generation capacity.
British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower and SSE have yet to commit to 100% renewable energy generation, but given this announcement from Scottish Gas and the recent talk of an imminent step-up in the government’s carbon reduction targets, surely they won’t be far behind?