SSE resists call to split off renewables arm as it doubles down on drive to become a green energy giant
SSE has resisted calls to split off its renewables business and doubled down on plans to become a major player in green energy.
The FTSE 100 company will spend an extra £1billion every year to 2026 as it ramps up investment in environmentally friendly projects such as wind farms. The move takes its spending plans over the next five years to £12.5billion.
It also means it has defied calls from aggressive activist investor Elliott Advisors to separate out its renewables arm, which is one of the world’s biggest developers of wind power.
Cleaning up: SSE will spend an extra £1bn every year to 2026 as it ramps up investment in environmentally friendly projects such as wind farms
By the end of the decade the company plans to run a quarter of the UK’s offshore wind farms.
SSE, based in Perth, Scotland, said it had ‘carefully considered a wide range of available strategic options’, including a separation, but decided against it.
The turbocharged spending plans come almost two years after SSE sold its retail arm, which supplied energy to households, to rival Ovo for £500m.
Despite the new strategy, its shares slid 4.3 per cent, or 71p, to 1587p, after it said it would pay 60p per share as a dividend from 2023, which is almost a third lower than the City had expected. The company also plans to sell around a quarter of its networks business.
Profits more than doubled to £1.7billion in the first half – though the company warned that this would be cancelled out by losses on financial contracts that are not shown under its current accounting methodology.
÷Rolls-Royce is set to clinch funding of up to £100million from the state of Qatar for its mini nuclear power plant programme.
The engineer is developing small modular reactors that are quicker and cheaper to build than sprawling sites, such as at Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, that can each power one million homes.