See below for the full All-Energy & Dcarbonise speech from Keith Anderson, CEO, Scottish Power
I am very pleased to be here today opening the 2019 All Energy Conference, and chairing the session with a great range of speakers
This year we reached a tipping point. Extinction Rebellion, School Strikes, the Attenborough documentary and the Climate Change Committee report. Political parties falling over themselves to declare ‘climate emergencies’.The tipping point is about the urgent need to act now. People in Britain want to take action now to prevent climate disaster in the near future.
Recent polling shows that in March 2019, 80% of the British public is concerned about climate change, 6% higher than previous.
The Climate Change Committee report published this month couldn’t be clearer in its recommendations
The UK has to be Carbon Net Zero by 2050; Scotland by 2045
To meet this target, renewable energy capacity has to quadruple and secondly, as the economy decarbonises, overall electricity generation capacity has to double
This is a stark challenge. It’s comparable to the post-war reconstruction of our national infrastructure
But this is the right response to a climate emergency
And the CCC is clear: we can do all of it, hit all of these targets using technology that exists today and in doing so, be the first major economy to decarbonise
Some commentators have reacted to this negatively by focusing on what we will have to stop or give up
This is wrong. This is the most important opportunity of our age.
The prize is cleaner air, healthier lives and a world-leading all-electric economy which in turn can and should become an example to the rest of the world.
The technology – that we’ve worked hard to prove, develop, implement and scale – is already there.
You see it up at Whitelee just a few miles away. You see it with the closure of Longannet and the creation of world-leading renewable energy skills and expertise.
There is nothing to stop us doing this right now.
But first, we have to get real about how we meet this challenge
We need to have an honest conversation about how we decarbonise
An honest conversation about renewables, electric vehicles and the grid that will support them both
For ScottishPower our role is clear. We need to continue to decarbonise generation, build smarter grids and enable the electrification of transport and heat
This year we became the first integrated energy company to only generate 100% green electricity
This is the culmination of 20 years of hard work, working with our supply chain to innovate and drive down the cost of renewable energy
Today all the electricity we generate for our customers comes from nearly 40 onshore and offshore wind farms across the UK
But we need to build more if we are to quadruple renewable generation by 2050
Offshore wind is cheaper than ever before – through efficiencies, and in particular our work with
our offshore project – East Anglia One.
We have driven down the cost and cut the price of contracts for Offshore Windfarms in half.
This year we will complete East Anglia One and start work on East Anglia Three
Offshore wind continues to make excellent progress.
However onshore wind is the foundation on which our success in delivering Net Zero will be built
Over the last three years, I have made the economic case for onshore wind, detailed public
support and called for immediate action to provide a viable route to market
Simply, onshore wind works. It is cheap, it can be built quickly, it supports jobs, it is popular and
it is secure.
Onshore wind has to be brought back into the fold if we are serious about delivering Net Zero
And of course, the switch to electric vehicles only makes sense if the cars are powered by
The alternative is that clean, low emission cars are running silently and efficiently on our roads,
but we’re just moving that air pollution and carbon fuel further away to the coal and gas power
plants that are generating their electricity. We can’t allow this to happen.
Acknowledging Scotland’s progress in decarbonisation, the CCC has set this country the most
challenging target, to become Net Zero by 2045
Like everyone in this room I know this will be tough but something Scotland will be proud to
And if Scotland is to succeed as a country, then Glasgow it’s biggest city- has to be even more
ambitious and progressive in meeting the challenge
But I’m confident that Glasgow can do this. And I’ll tell you why.
Glasgow is a no-nonsense city and it’s our home
Across the city, you can see Whitelee the UK’s largest onshore windfarm that we built ten years
Whitelee is directly connected to the city by the grid that we own and operate
The grid that will be at the heart of decarbonising the city
You will be hearing from Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council shortly, Glasgow City
Council hasn’t hung about, as they announced the first Low Emissions Zone outside of London
We applaud this ambition and will fully support Susan Aitken’s team in making it work
To match the city’s ambitions we will have to use the grid in ways that have not been considered
Over 70% of Glaswegians live in flats – multi-residency properties – with no personal off street
parking, building a charging system to support EVs across this city will be tricky but we are ready
to take on the challenge to make electric vehicles work for Glaswegians
This way of living is engrained in the culture of Glasgow. It’s not going to change and there’s no
reason why it should change. But there’s also no reason why those without a driveway shouldn’t
benefit from the decarbonisation of transport
Together with the City Council, we are going to develop an EV charging system that will be the
template for urban charging across the UK and the rest of the world
That’s why today we announce that we will together make Glasgow the UK’s first Net Zero city
It is our hope that this declaration kick starts a race to zero with other ambitious cities, like
Edinburgh, because then we will all be winners.
The prize is the future of our country and our planet
So what are we going to do?
Starting in Glasgow, ScottishPower will invest in systems behind the plug to help people move
to electric transport easier and quicker
We can’t do any of this without the grid being at the heart of the energy system so it is vital we
continue to build a smarter network to enable Scotland’s move to decarbonised transport
We are already helping domestic customers with our end-to-end home charging system –
providing a seamless journey to customers who are making the transition to an electric car, with
peace of mind each step of the way
But we are now looking at the wider issue of workplace and public charging – one that is yet to
We are working on a basis where people can charge away from the home, quicker than they
imagine, so there are no delays or restrictions to owning an electric vehicle wherever you live,
work or travel.
So we are beyond the tipping point now, people are clear – they want us to just get on with it
The CCC have given us a clear target and what we urgently need from Government is a clear
road map of how to get there
We know what the prize is – cleaner air, healthier lives and a world leading all-electric economy
We know all the technology is there, we have everything we need within our grasp
And we know how to make it work – we can make it efficient and low cost – we have that in our
That is why the white paper that is due in summer is absolutely crucial and fundamental to our
I can’t stress its importance
The white paper will be the most important piece of Government legislation on Climate Change
in recent times
We need it to clearly outline a medium-term road map of how we get to net zero – it has to
focus on real delivery with the technology we already have
The 2020s are key – what we do over the next ten years will determine whether we meet this
target or not
So we need to start now, and that’s what I mean by getting real about climate change