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ScottishPower’s supply arm saw profits soar in 2023

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ScottishPower said last year’s storms hit production from onshore wind farms, but offshore production held up well (Danny Lawson/PA)

ScottishPower saw earnings at its energy supply arm soar last year thanks to a mechanism in the price cap, but the company made a loss in the last six months of the year.

The Spanish-owned business said operating profit at the unit hit £545 million in 2023, up from a £273 million loss the year before.

The turnaround was purely in the first half of the year though after Ofgem allowed suppliers to claw back some of the excess costs they faced during the energy crisis. Rivals also saw their profits soar last year for that reason.

In the second half of the year, ScottishPower’s energy supply unit made a multimillion-pound loss.

The number of customers that the supplier serves has dropped from 4.6 million in September to 4.5 million today, ScottishPower said. In 2023 customers used 14% less electricity and 13% less gas than the year before.

The company is also a major producer of wind power. Like rivals, its onshore wind farms have been hit by storms, which reduced production by around 18%. But that was offset by a 13% rise in production from the business’s offshore turbines.

We’re increasing our spending ambitions on green grids and green energy to a record £12 billion in the next five years
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower

Operating profit at the renewables arm rose 35% to £633 million, while its networks arm, which operates parts of the electricity grid, saw a 20% rise to £709 million.

Chief executive Keith Anderson said: “In the last 15 years ScottishPower has invested £30 billion in the UK’s green infrastructure: the modern electricity grids and clean power generation that will ensure our economy benefits from secure, homegrown energy.

“We want to go faster, and that’s why we’re increasing our spending ambitions on green grids and green energy to a record £12 billion in the next five years.

“As a big investor in green energy in the UK, the most important signal for us is the need for speed and a clear commitment to delivering this critical infrastructure quickly to help drive wider economic growth.”

“To unlock this growth, we have to be serious about getting spades in the ground more quickly. That means acting on the ambitions to cut the time it takes to build new power lines, it means incentivising innovation in projects like subsea interconnectors, and it means being bold and grabbing the economic opportunity offered by offshore wind.”

“Speeding up the planning system isn’t just about making these projects happen more quickly. The knock-on benefits to the wider UK economy are huge, and there to be seized – boosting the UK supply chain and stimulating sector-wide growth for businesses and communities across the country.”

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