Overall profits at Scottish Power slid downwards by 3% in 2017 – to £1.2 billion – compared to the previous year, the Glasgow-based utility announced.
But profits in thermal-power electricity generation and supply dived by almost half (49.3%) in 2017 – to £121.9 million – compared to £240.3 million in 2016.
This was almost entirely because production from thermal generation in the UK fell by 27.8% over the twelve month period of 2017 to 7,259 GWh, compared to 10,060 GWh of the previous year – due largely to the closure of the company’s Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife.
Higher non-energy costs impacted retail margins, and domestic power volume was down 6.7%. The gas business also posted poorer results because of narrower margins and volumes (-7.7%) – the latter due to warmer weather during 2017
However, profits in its renewable energy division rose by 44.6% to £316.1 million in 2017- compared to £218.5 million in 2016.
Renewables output increased to 4,880 GWh from 3,688 GWh at the end of 2016, an increase of 32.3%. Offshore wind production increased by 13%, amounting to 820 GWh. Hydroelectric production increased by 19% to 701 GWh, compared to 590 GWh at the close of 2016.
On the retail front, the Spanish-owned utility which supplies gas and electricity across the UK, lost another 200,000 customers who switched to other energy providers.
Keith Anderson, Scottish Power chief corporate officer, commented: “As anticipated, <thermal> generation and supply continued to face challenges, predominantly in light of increasing input costs, reduced demand. challenging market conditions and political uncertainty.”
“However, our £650 million two-year programme to construct eight new onshore windfarms in Scotland was completed in 2017, while our Renewables division also achieved the milestone of 2 gigawatts of wind energy capacity in the UK.”
Ignacio Galan, chairman of the Iberdrola Group which owns Scottish Power, added: “Despite recent political and regulatory uncertainty, the UK remains a core investment destination for our company.
“Scottish Power will deliver around €6 billion of investment in green and smart infrastructure over the next five and we will focus on increasing our renewable energy capacity, enhanced grid networks and smart technology for customers.
“The UK, like the rest of the world, is at a tipping point.
“After 25 years of encouraging people to use less electricity, now we know that the best way to tackle climate change is to use more over the next 25 years. But as we close our final coal power stations and build more renewables this electricity will be cleaner and more affordable than ever.
“More and smarter power will enable us to decarbonise faster as we electrify the economy where it matters most now – in transport and in heating.”
22 Feb 2018