Distributed Energy for a Net Zero world As someone who started with SSE over 30 years ago as an Apprentice Electrician, I’ve seen a huge amount of change in the way the energy sector works. Today, the need to decarbonise our energy system has never been more pressing. So, I’m delighted that my company, SSE, has supported the COP26 climate change conference as a Principle Partner. And as a group, SSE is certainly putting its money where its mouth is as it continues to deliver on its £12.5bn investment programme in low carbon assets which will help the UK and Ireland reach their target of net zero emissions by 2050. I know that many local authorities and organisations have now declared their own climate emergencies. Perhaps having done so, some of themmay be now puzzling out how best they can make the changes required to get them on the road to net zero. Well that’s where my part of the SSE business – Distributed Energy – comes in. The role of distributed energy in the green recovery The way we consume and interact with energy is changing before our very eyes as we look to decarbonise our society – especially when it comes to heating and transport. Energy generation is changing with participants rightly wanting to be more active with their assets and even utilise their potential to generate revenue. Data is now king, as we move towards a society where smart cities and smart places become part of everyday life rather than an inventor’s pipe dream. THE PATH TO NET ZERO A foreword by Nathan Sanders

the coronavirus epidemic and secondly, making our society carbon-neutral.

In June 2019, The UK was the first major economy to pass a legislation to become ‘Net Zero carbon’ by 2050. To achieve that, the electricity sector will need to expand capacity to enable electrification of transport, heat and parts of industry. This could see annual GB demand for electricity double to 600TWh or more by 2050. The increasing electricity demand will put our energy system under significant pressure, and this is when the role of distributed energy becomes key in order to provide flexibility to the system and ensure a fair and efficient transition to a carbon-neutral economy. It’s time for some localised ‘whole system thinking’ So, having a compelling sustainable vision is all very well, I hear you thinking, but why would my organisation or local authority want to partner with SSE Energy Solutions? Fair question. In short, our whole system approach accelerates your path to net zero. SSE Energy Solutions provides innovative solutions to build, own, operate and maintain energy infrastructure in the UK and Ireland, covering both private and public sector across residential, commercial and industrial markets. That puts us in the unique position to offer our clients a local ‘whole system thinking’ approach, meaning we can bring together the multiple facets of all we do; combining EV charging, heat networks, solar and storage infrastructure, building energy management services and digital smart energy services.

Likewise, our society faces two unparalleled challenges: first, to bounce back from the ravages of

4 || Accelerating the net zero journey

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