UK GENERAL ELECTION

In response to the agreement of a General Election on 12 December the short statement below is focussed on three critical areas of policy. 

Net Zero Emissions

With political agreement behind ‘Net Zero’ emissionsthis election needs to result in a clear delivery plan for the country. This must:

  • be renewables-led, with ambition levels raised for technologies such as offshore wind where Britain is in a leadership position;
  • allow the energy networks to make the anticipatory investments to enable the electrification of transport and heat efficiently and at the lowest cost to consumers;
  • empower the energy regulator, Ofgem, to deliver decarbonisation with a primary duty linked to achieving ‘net zero’ as well as customer protection
  • ensure that strong carbon pricing continues to provide a strong signal for low carbon electricity and wider emissions reduction; and
  • facilitate new technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, usage and storage for providing low carbon back-up power and for wider use 

Structure of the Energy Industry; nationalisation 

Plans to renationalise elements of the energy industry, along with the water and rail sector, will be likely to feature in the Labour Party’s manifesto, with a focus on the energy networks. SSE believes that renationalisation would be a costly and disruptive overhaul of a sector that performs strongly by international standards and would not be in the public interest. The UK’s energy networks are among the highest performing in the world: playing a vital role in the decarbonisation of the power sector; attracting record levels of investment from private sources; achieving customer satisfaction that is at an all-time high; and costing customers significantly less than was the case under state ownership. Renationalisation of energy networks would jeopardise all of this, potentially disrupting service, investment and delaying the essential work that is already delivering a cleaner, smarter, electricity system to enable net zero emissions as quickly as possible. 

Brexit 

SSE advocates a stable, transitional policy environment in the UK and Ireland throughout any Brexit transition, including preserving the single energy market on the island of Ireland and strong carbon pricing linked to the EU ETS to underpin decarbonisation efforts. Whilst SSE has carried out comprehensive planning for a ‘no-deal’ scenario, it continues to believe that this would be a sub-optimal outcome for the UK energy sector and consumers. 

SSE will work constructively with all Parties on these issues to deliver an energy system that works for all stakeholders.