SCOTTISH energy giant SSE has said the UK Government should greenlight billions of pounds of private investment in low-carbon infrastructure to help the economy rebound from the coronavirus. The Perth-headquartered firm says committing to a net-zero power sector by 2040 will help stimulate a cleaner, more resilient recovery and get the UK on track to meet its climate action commitments.

SSE says targeting 75GW of offshore wind projects, five carbon capture and storage schemes, plus hydrogen power clusters and giving the go-ahead on plans to regenerate the electricity motorways to transport clean power to more homes and businesses will help support a return to growth.

It says a green fiscal rule which properly puts a high price on carbon emissions will incentivise the switch to cleaner power, and making homes more energy efficient with electric heat networks and a deadline for the demise of the gas boiler is needed to hit net-zero targets.

The Government is also urged to stimulate investment in a world-leading electric vehicle charging network and bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030.

SSE has written to the Prime Minister, the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) with its five-point “greenprint” .

Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “This moment in time is pivotal on many levels, that’s why now it’s even more important to double down on climate action.

“Coronavirus has demonstrated only concerted, focused effort can solve a crisis – and that goes for the climate emergency too.

“We stand ready to invest billions in the coming years and want to play a key role in the UK’s recovery.

“We are unashamedly biased towards promoting practical, deliverable solutions that could help unlock this investment from ourselves and others.

“Our five-point action plan is focused on stimulating growth and investment to leave a legacy of a cleaner, more resilient UK economy for the future.

“While it is still too early to predict with confidence the full human, social and economic impact of coronavirus, we can say with certainty that significant investment will be needed to rebuild the UK economy in its wake. Although not as immediately felt as those from coronavirus, the impacts from a failure to deal with climate change could be even greater.”