UK mustn't spook investors with energy reforms, SSE says

FILE PHOTO: An SSE company logo is seen on signage outside the Pitlochry Dam hydro electric power station in Pitlochry

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain must be careful not to spook investors with its energy reforms so it can continue attracting funds for its transition to a cleaner future, the CEO of renewables and networks company SSE said on Monday.

Britain has a target to install up to 50 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2030, up from almost 13 GW currently, as part of its efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

It is also looking at ways of changing its electricity markets to better reflect the costs associated with generating power.

"Whatever we do in the short term, we must be careful not to spook investors and not make people think there are new risks in the UK market that weren't there before," Alistair Phillips-Davies, said speaking at the Reuters IMPACT sustainability conference in London.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss's first fiscal package, a new "growth plan" launched on Sept. 23, was poorly received by financial markets and triggered a crisis of investor confidence, hammering the value of the pound and government bond prices.

Phillips-Davies said SSE remained committed to investing up to 25 billion pounds ($28 billion) in British energy infrastructure this decade, including in new wind and hydro electric power projects.

Increasing clean energy technology is vital, Phillips-Davies said, to help the country wean itself off costly fossil fuels such as gas, which has soared to record high prices this year driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The crisis we have got at the moment is a gas crisis and every time we put up another wind turbine we can reduce our reliance on that,” he said.

($1 = 0.8924 pounds)

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Mark Potter)