ScottishPower has become the first vertically integrated energy company in the UK to leave coal and gas generation and shift to 100% of electricity generation from clean wind power. The transition will be complete after the sale of its traditional generation business to Drax for £702 million.
Carbon Emissions to be Reduced by 30% by 2020
In the context, Chairman and Chief Executive of Iberdrola (the parent group of ScottishPower), Ignacio Galán stated that energy companies should be part of the solution to climate change. He added that Iberdrola was acting to cut carbon emissions by around 30% by 2020 and thus be carbon neutral by 2050. And, Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of ScottishPower stated that it was a pivotal shift for ScottishPower as they are set to realise a long-term ambition. He added that they were leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy. Anderson stated that every working day they were investing over £4 million to deliver cleaner, smarter power for customers. He added that they would focus solely on making energy generation cheaper, cutting carbon quicker, building smart grids and connecting customers to renewable electric future for transportation and heating.
Meanwhile, in the last decade ScottishPower had closed all its coal plants and the sale of the remaining gas and hydro stations, the company would generate 100% of its electricity from wind power. Currently, ScottishPower has 2,700 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity either operating or under construction in the UK. And, the company would be capable of generating over 3,000 MW with a pipeline of future projects.
Investing £5.2bn to 2022 Focusing on Renewable Energy
ScottishPower is set to invest £5.2 billion towards 2022 and would have a focus on renewable energy, enhanced grid networks and smart technology for customers. And, in the context of wind power in the UK, ScottishPower has a pipeline of 2,900 MW beyond the 714 MW under construction at East Anglia ONE. And, the company is following the proposals by the Crown Estate and Crows Estate Scotland and has ambitions to secure additional development areas in the next round of offshore wind leases throughout the UK.
It is believed that the sale contributes to Iberdrola’s €3 billion global asset rotation plan that was announced to the market in February 2018 and was a part of the strategic outlook of the company setting out core business objectives to 2022. Finally, in its commitment to carbon reduction, Iberdrola aims to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020 globally and 50% by 2030 as compared to 2007 and then be carbon neutral by 2050.