FURIOUS climate campaigners have criticised “obscene” profits posted by Scotland’s biggest polluter.

SSE announced £565 million in pre-tax profits in just six months, with campaigners stating this showed the current energy system is “only delivering for wealthy shareholders”.

The energy giant controls Peterhead power station in Aberdeenshire, which has been Scotland’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for the past five years.

The site released over 1.35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2022.

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It comes as SSE and Equinor, the Norwegian state-owned fossil fuel firm, have submitted a planning application to build a new gas burning power station at the site, on top of the existing plant.

SSE has admitted that this would lead to an increase in emissions, which campaigners say will result in a “major adverse” effect on Scotland’s climate tackling efforts.

The proposed gas-fired power station would also operate past 2045 - the date where Scotland is required to meet net zero emissions.

SSE made £2.18 billion in pre-tax profits in 2022, almost double the £1.5bn they made in 2021.

The National:

Profits for SSE Thermal, the arm responsible for the Peterhead development, have seen a 212% increase in profits since 2022, credited by the first to the acquisition of three gas burning power stations in England.

Alex Lee, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland climate campaigner, said the “obscene profits” were further evidence the current energy system benefits energy giants and their shareholders.

Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee (they) commented, “How can it be that the owners of Scotland's single biggest polluter are making £3million a day while so many households are struggling to pay their bills?” they said.

“Our energy bill pain is SSE’s gain.

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“The Scottish Government must reject SSE’s plan to build a new gas power station at Peterhead, which would only increase climate pollution and company profits.

“As the evidence of climate breakdown mounts up, building a new fossil gas plant would be exactly the wrong direction of travel.

“It will threaten Scotland’s ability to meet climate targets, undermine the transition to good green jobs and do nothing to reduce bills for households in Scotland.”

Lee added: “Instead of encouraging big polluters, the Scottish Government should be investing in a fast and fair transition to renewable energy, with workers and communities’ needs at its heart.

"The climate emergency demands working climate solutions such as improved public transport, ensuring warm homes and renewable energy run in the public interest. “

On the profits publication, SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Our first half performance reflects both the financial strength of our business and our ability to deliver world-class projects that are at the heart of the clean energy transition.

“There remains strong underlying political consensus on the big drivers of energy security and decarbonisation – accelerating renewables, network investment and flexible power generation – and these are the growth engines powering SSE.”