North of Scotland Future Energy Scenarios: Investing in a Network for Net Zero

Our network region is home to some of the UK’s greatest resources of low carbon energy. Our network therefore has a critical role to play in enabling the achievement of Scotland’s and the UK’s Net Zero targets.

Our latest North of Scotland Future Energy Scenarios analysis explores the technologies that are likely to impact generation and demand profiles in the medium to long term.

Understanding this will help us to serve our customers’ needs over the next decade and beyond as we deliver a network for Net Zero.

In the final of a series of bite sized videos let’s explore investing in a network for Net Zero.

Today we face a series of intersecting crises, including the increasing cost of energy, security of energy supply and the impacts of climate change on people and the planet. To help tackle these crises, it is urgent we transition away from an energy system that is reliant on expensive, often imported gas. Instead, we must build a homegrown, renewable energy system in the UK, one that is cheaper, cleaner, and more secure, allowing us to achieve our Net Zero goals, and to support a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

We cannot achieve our Net Zero goals and reduce our energy costs without moving away from imported fossil fuel-based energy and transitioning to clean homegrown renewable energy. But generating clean and renewable energy in the UK is not the whole story.

One of the most important steps in achieving Net Zero is safely and securely transporting the clean energy from where it is produced, to where it is needed. To do this, we must invest in the wires, poles and towers that are necessary to transport our clean and renewable energy from the wind turbines and solar panels, and onwards to our communities, homes, and workplaces.

In the British Energy Security Strategy, the UK Government has set out the ambition of connecting 50GW of offshore wind to the electricity network by 2030. To connect this generation on time, we need to invest in the transmission network, which is why Ofgem has set out the Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework. The ASTI framework confirms funding for the development of necessary network reinforcements and confirms how these reinforcements will be delivered. This confirmation provides certainty to stakeholders, including the supply chain, and ensures the essential infrastructure we require, so that we can help to deliver a Network for Net Zero on time. 

The Climate Change Committee have advised the Scottish Government that we need 20GW of onshore wind by 2030 so that we can reach Net Zero on time. This means an additional 12GW on top of the 8GW of onshore wind generation capacity that we have connected in Scotland currently. 

Our network in the north of Scotland has an essential role in connecting onshore wind and supporting the delivery of Net Zero. 
We currently have just over 4GW of onshore wind capacity connected to our network and our North of Scotland Future Energy Scenarios ‘Green Society Scenario’ shows that by 2030 up to 11 GW of onshore wind generation capacity could be connected to our network, meaning that our network could be enabling around 50% of the onshore wind generation capacity that we need by 2030, so that we can reach Net Zero on time.

Transporting affordable, clean, homegrown energy is not only made possible by wires, towers and poles, but most importantly it is made possible by people, and the valuable work we do as part of SSEN Transmission. Our journey to Net Zero can only be achieved with a diversity of experiences, skills, and talent. Our network is developed by a wide range of people; including those with long term experience in the industry, those at the beginning of their careers and by people transitioning from sectors such as oil and gas.

A just transition to Net Zero also means protecting our environment, which is why SSEN Transmission has made sector-leading biodiversity commitments on all projects, introducing a policy of no-net-loss in biodiversity on all projects gaining consent from 2020, and biodiversity net gain on all new projects.

Investing in a network for Net Zero means investing in a low carbon future, sustainable green jobs, our communities, and our environment.

We’re planning a network that unlocks a low carbon future.

We’re delivering a network for Net Zero.

For more information on our North of Scotland Future Energy Scenarios 2022, please visit our website.