Roundtable Dinner with Scottish Power CEO Keith Anderson: Getting to Net Zero

  • Thought Leadership

In a recent roundtable dinner hosted by FWB and Burness Paull, industry leaders and experts gathered to engage in a stimulating discussion on the journey toward achieving net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050. The evening’s guest speaker, Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power, offered valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities on the road to a sustainable and low-carbon future.

The event brought together an array of distinguished guests from the energy sector -from Oil & Gas producers, offshore wind developers, EV scale-ups, investors, and advisors. The result was a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives, highlighting the complexity of the task at hand.

Keith Anderson opened the discussion by emphasising the importance of the UK’s legal commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. While this milestone is set in stone, the real challenge lies in determining the pathway and pace to reach this ambitious goal.

Keith commended the UK’s offshore wind industry as a model for other nations to follow, but he also drew attention to a recent setback-the failure to secure new investments in offshore wind projects. This development was seen as potentially catastrophic for the timeline and trajectory toward net zero.

One key takeaway from the discussion was the need for close collaboration between the government and all relevant stakeholders to develop a coherent industrial strategy that will keep the UK on the path to net zero. Some issues, such as the reform of planning and permitting processes, have encountered resistance due to concerns about local democracy and autonomy. It became evident that all stakeholders must work together to address these challenges and find solutions that expedite development times for critical projects.

Furthermore, the discussion emphasised the critical importance of providing greater clarity and certainty regarding pricing and regulation. Upgrading the country’s infrastructure to support renewable energy and sustainable technologies is a monumental undertaking. To attract international capital in the competitive market, the UK must remove barriers that hinder the investment case. Clear, predictable regulations and pricing mechanisms are essential to creating an attractive environment for investors.

In conclusion, the key takeaway was that while the goal is clear, the path to net zero is filled with challenges that require cooperation, innovation, and policy reforms. By working together and addressing these obstacles, the UK can fulfil its legal obligation to the Paris Agreement and play a leading role in the global transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.

We would like to thank our event partners Burness Paull and guest speaker Keith Anderson for their valuable contributions to this event.

If you are interested in attending events like this in the future, please email Adam Brown

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