ScottishPower’s rush for batteries in bid to make Glasgow the UK’s first net zero city

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Image: ScottishPower.

ScottishPower has revealed intentions to make Glasgow the UK’s first ‘net zero’ city, in collaboration with Glasgow City Council.

And the utility is also preparing a battery storage rush in a bid to support its renewable energy ambitions.

To achieve net zero emissions, the city will need to decarbonise heat and transport, as well as upping its renewable energy sources.

Scotland’s current goal is to be net zero by 2045, however a spokesperson for ScottishPower told an audience at last week's All-Energy that the company is looking to have the majority of the infrastructure for decarbonising heat and transport in place by around 2037, stating that they are “ruling nothing out” when it comes to how decarbonisation of heat will occur.

Glasgow is one of only two cities in the UK – the other being London- to have a Low Emission Zone. As such, EVs are to form a large part of the decarbonisation programme.

With over 70% of Glasgow citizens living in flats, ScottishPower says the transition towards EVs could be tricky. An EV programme that will become a template for other cities is to be rolled out, with commercial fast chargers, residential chargers, on-street charging and workplace charging infrastructure to be installed.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cited the Committee on Climate Change’s landmark Net Zero report as a driving force behind the Scottish Government setting a net zero target of 2045.

“[The] announcement between ScottishPower and Glasgow City Council – to make Glasgow the UK’s first “net zero” city – is a very welcome step.

“Reaching our goals will need exactly this kind of partnership approach – with government, business, local authorities and citizens all playing their part,” Sturgeon added.

Keith Anderson, chief executive at ScottishPower, said: “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.

“The maths for going net zero is simple. Renewable energy capacity has to quadruple and electricity generation has to double. We can’t do this if we keep inventing ways to block new renewable capacity.

“We’ve been able to compensate to some extent by racing ahead with large offshore wind projects, but quadrupling capacity can’t rely on putting all our eggs in one renewable basket. We’ve said very clearly we will aim to invest £6 billion (US$7.63 billion) in renewable capacity by 2022. The easier it is to do this, the quicker we all get to Net Zero.”

Meanwhile, ScottishPower is ramping up its large-scale battery storage and EV offering, having unveiled a £2 billion investment earlier this year.

A 50MW battery is to be installed at Whitlee, the country’s largest wind farm. Once planning permission is in place, ScottishPower will seek similar arrangements for its other UK wind farms, with potential for batteries to go onto solar and wind sites in the future.

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