SSE Thermal is calling on the government to turbocharge the delivery of low-carbon technologies to help deliver a net zero power system by 2035.

The low-carbon developer is bringing forward multiple low-carbon projects across the UK. This includes Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station in the Humber - which is being developed in collaboration with Equinor and recently became the first power CCS project in the country to receive planning permission – and Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder, which would unite hydrogen production, storage and power generation in one location by the middle of this decade.

These projects would form part of SSE’s £24bn investment programme in the UK, and in addition to supporting the decarbonisation of industrial heartlands and powering a low-carbon future, they would also help to secure a just transition for workers and communities.

Now, SSE Thermal has published ‘A vision for the UK’s net zero transition’ which outlines the need for these low-carbon technologies and the potential of carbon capture and hydrogen in providing flexible back-up to renewables. It also outlines the steps Government should take to facilitate this:

  • Progress the deployment of carbon capture and storage and hydrogen infrastructure in a minimum of four industrial areas by 2030
  • Support first-of-a-kind carbon capture and storage and hydrogen projects to investment decisions before the end of next year
  • Increase its ambition for power CCS to 7-9GW by 2030, with regular auctions for Dispatchable Power Agreements
  • Set out a policy ambition for hydrogen in the power sector and a strategy for delivering at least 8GW of hydrogen-capable power stations by 2030
  • Accelerate the delivery of business models for hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure, to kickstart the hydrogen economy

Catherine Raw, Managing Director of SSE Thermal said: "Renewable power will be at the heart of the UK’s transition to net zero, but we must not ignore the crucial role low-carbon flexible power will play. It will back up that renewable generation when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, as well as deliver a Just Transition for affected communities out of high carbon activity."

Catherine added: "Keeping the UK on track to a net zero power system by 2035 requires 7-9GW of carbon capture power stations and up to 8GW of hydrogen fired peaking power stations by 2030, alongside significant growth in renewables.

"Developers are ready and we have the projects – now we need Government to grasp the low-carbon mantle and push ahead with the deployment of carbon capture and hydrogen technologies this decade.”

As a responsible developer, SSE Thermal has also outlined a series of pledges it will keep to during the development of its current and future projects:

  • Keep health, safety and wellbeing at the core of our activity.
  • Engage with our communities and stakeholders, to minimise disruption and identify opportunities to deliver local benefit.
  • Work with supply chain partners to build domestic supply chain capabilities and include local supply chain requirements in contracts.
  • Boost inclusion and diversity, so a workforce with different perspectives and experiences can continue to innovate, to deliver the low-carbon solutions needed to reach net zero
  • Work towards achieving biodiversity net gain by 2025 for areas where we construct large capital projects.

Read ‘A vision for the UK’s net zero transition’

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