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Tesco and ScottishPower: We must drive the age of renewable energy today, not tomorrow


By Jason Tarry – UK & ROI CEO, Tesco
and Lindsay McQuade – Chief Executive, ScottishPower Renewables

As the UK faces into the reality of the climate emergency, we cannot sit back and hope that change will come in the fullness of time.

Action is required now to have a real and lasting impact. We all have a responsibility to bring about that change to help the UK become net zero by 2050 and this is the decade where we can make a big difference. 

More companies are setting clear targets to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero. And now is the time we must all move from commitment to action, starting with the way we source our energy. 

Tesco has committed to becoming a net zero business in the UK by 2035 and, in partnership with ScottishPower – the UK’s leading green energy producer – we’ve moved a step closer to this thanks to the completion of a new 30MW 15-turbine windfarm in Caithness. 

Built specifically by ScottishPower under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to support Tesco’s energy needs, Halsary windfarm generates enough clean energy to power the equivalent of almost 20,000 homes a year and will now help power Tesco’s stores and operations. Not just that, over the lifetime of the agreement more power will be put back into the grid than Tesco takes out, meaning there is more renewable energy on the market that didn’t exist before. 

Renewable PPAs are one of the best tools available to the private sector to combat the climate emergency and deliver a sustainable green energy transition at pace and scale. Both mutually beneficial and commercially viable, they bring much needed support that allows developers to build new green infrastructure and bring clean energy to the market without a government support scheme. They provide certainty for partners on future energy costs and generate much needed new green energy that will help meet climate targets. 

The UK needs to quadruple renewable generation over the next 30 years to meet net zero targets – that’s the scale of change needed. And onshore wind is now the cheapest way to generate new electricity in the UK – making it key in tackling the climate emergency and the ideal way for businesses to purchase clean energy. PPAs can help us go further and faster and reinforce Scotland’s position at the forefront of the green industrial revolution. 

With less than 100 days until the UK hosts the COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow, let’s all get to work on making the changes and driving the transformative action that will make a real difference.