“The time is now”


Scottish Power’s Danny Parr on the need to step up the energy transition. Among the changes brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, there is a growing sense that things will never be quite the same as they were before.

In his keynote speech at the “Procurement in a post-Covid world” webinar held by The Energyst, Danny Parr, head of business energy at Scottish Power, delivered a call to businesses to “have the courage to adapt to change.”

He said that the coronavirus crisis had indeed changed the world forever, but that this needn’t be a wholly negative thing.

“A low-carbon economy is achievable and is deliverable,” he said. “The steps to get there are genuinely within our grasp”.

With the right approach, he added, inexpensive measures can be taken that will provide an immediate boost to the economy together with long-term environmental benefits.

Parr does not agree with those who suggest that advancing the cause of the energy transition in the UK requires over-ambitious new programmes.

He sees uncapped auctions for new capacity, bringing forward the phaseout of petrol and diesel cars to 2030, and grants for electric vehicles and home charging as three key measures that could be taken — at very low cost — to boost progress in the key areas.

In sum, we need to build low-carbon homes, get people into electric cars and construct renewable energy plants equipped with energy storage, he said. “We can do all these things and we can do them quickly. For me, it’s a no-brainer.”

Parr mentioned giant offshore wind farm East Anglia One as a shining example of what can be achieved. The 714MW wind farm, which is located 45km off the coast of Suffolk, was completed during the Covid pandemic. Its 102 wind turbines will power up to 630,000 homes with clean energy.

“The site has brought major benefits beyond just the clean energy,” Parr is keen to point out. He sees this project as a clear demonstration that, even when times are tough, “we can create a way forward through the net-zero agenda.”

When it comes to greening the UK’s energy supply and boosting business, Parr has one clear message: “The time is now — and there isn’t a moment to waste.”


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