Scottish Power unveils investment plan

By Andrew Black
Business presenter, BBC Good Morning Scotland

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image captionScottish Power says its future is in renewable energy

Scottish Power has said it will invest up to £2bn in green energy, as its chief executive played down concerns about Brexit.

The energy giant said it was increasing storage capacity at its wind farms and working on its goal of "making electric vehicles possible for everyone".

Chief executive Keith Anderson said that the UK was already in control of a huge amount of its energy policy.

He said the new investment would also help create another 300 UK jobs.

Scottish Power has already closed or sold all of its coal and gas power plants after the Glasgow-based company said it had chosen to focus on renewable energy.

It wants to invest in "smart grids" for customers to buy and sell electricity and deliver charging points for electric cars, amid a predicted shift away from diesel and petrol vehicles.

'Very confident'

Spanish-owned Scottish Power said it would build giant batteries at wind farms to deal with concerns that wind power could be intermittent.

Mr Anderson told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We're producing more and more green energy.

"Unfortunately just now when the wind's blowing really hard, if we don't use all of that, we in effect lose all of that renewable power, and that's quite sad.

"One of the great things about investing in battery technology for the future is that what we can do is, every time the wind is blowing, even if we're not using all of the electricity, we'll be able to store it and use it later."

Ahead of the UK's scheduled departure from the EU on 29 March, he added: "There's a huge amount in the UK we're in control of.

"We've got a good regulatory system and what we want to do now is show that we're very confident about the future."

"We're saying lets get on with it, let's invest the money now - £7m every working day - and let's deliver that better future quicker."

Mr Anderson added: "No matter what happens with Brexit, there's an awful lot that the UK government is in control of in terms of our energy policy, in terms of what we want to do about tackling climate change, air pollution, the future of transport.

"That's what we at Scottish Power want to be at the forefront of delivering."

The UK government has said it is working on replicating the UK's current EU's trade agreements "as far as possible" after its departure.

The strategy has been drawn up amid concern about the effect of a "no-deal" Brexit on trade.

Follow BBC presenter Andrew Black's business updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.