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SSE ups forecast as gas production makes up for renewables shortfall

The amount of electricity that SSE produced in the last nine months of 2022 spiked despite a massive global gas crisis, the business has revealed.

SSE, which no longer supplies energy directly to households, said output from its gas power plants was 27% higher over the period when compared to the year before.

It came in a year when weather conditions were unusually poor for renewable generation across Great Britain.

Even though Britain broke its previous wind power record in December, there were many days across the year when wind speeds dropped. Over the past year, 36% of Britain’s power has come from renewables, and 41% from gas.

SSE said that it had produced 10% less electricity than planned from its renewable sources in the nine months to the end of December. But production was considerably higher than the year before when weather conditions were even less favourable.

“The third quarter has continued to see periods of unseasonably calm and dry weather with delays to the Seagreen project also contributing to the shortfall against plan,” SSE told shareholders on Friday.

But the business was positive as it upped its financial outlook, saying that the extra money from its gas business had more than offset the drop in renewables.

SSE now expects to make more than £1.50 in adjusted earnings per share. It had previously forecast “at least” £1.20.

It will increase dividends to shareholders in line with retail price index inflation – currently at 13.4%. Workers have been told their pay will increase in line with a different inflation measure, consumer prices index – currently at 10.5%.

Finance director Gregor Alexander said: “SSE is performing well in a shifting and volatile energy landscape, underlining the strength of our balanced business mix and the quality of our assets, and we are well placed to deliver a strong financial performance for the full year.

“We are responding to the cost of living and energy crises by investing record amounts and remain committed to investing additional profit we make into critical low-carbon electricity infrastructure.

“By doing so, we are creating lasting value for SSE’s stakeholders, and society as a whole.”