SSE announces £24bn 'green' investment plans amid windfall tax threat

The Perth-based energy company announced a 44% increase in its full-year pre-tax profit to £3.5bn.

SSE announces £24bn clean energy investment for net zero goals amid chancellor Rishi Sunak’s windfall tax plans iStock
Windfall tax: Sunak calls for plans to tax electricity companies

SSE has pledged to invest more into clean energy than it has earned in profit amid efforts by electricity companies to avoid a potential new tax.

It comes after the multinational energy company’s shares plummeted by almost 8% following reports the UK Treasury was putting together plans for a UK-wide windfall tax.

The Financial Times reported chancellor Rishi Sunak had ordered government officials to draw up plans for a charge on energy companies as well as North Sea oil and gas producers.

On Wednesday, SSE announced a 44% increase in its full-year pre-tax profit to £3.5bn.

Calls for a one-off windfall tax came at the beginning of May, after oil giant BP reported profits of £4.9bn for the first quarter, compared with £1.6bn for the same period last year, to help subsidise energy bills for struggling households.

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However, in its end-of-year profit report, SSE said a £24bn investment into the UK’s energy infrastructure relied upon a “continued supportive policy environment”.

It outlined its plans to invest in key green technologies including offshore windfarms, critical network upgrades, carbon capture and storage (CCS), batteries and hydro-electric power.

Of the £24bn investment, SSE claims £15bn will be allocated for Scotland, equating to almost £3,000 per person.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE said: “We’ve already achieved a lot, but we’re only just getting started. Against the backdrop of a global gas crisis, we are investing far more than we are making in profit to deliver clean homegrown energy that will bolster security, cut emissions and make energy more affordable over the long term.

“We have plans to invest more than £15bn in Scotland and in excess of £24bn in Britain alone by 2030 to help deliver Government’s ambitious targets.”