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Renewables output boosts SSE profits

Energy suppliers SSE has reported a 2 per cent rise in full-year profit.

The company said operating profit at its wholesale business unit – which includes the production, storage and generation of energy – was up 6.4 per cent, helped primarily by higher output of renewables from hydro and wind power.

Total electricity output from all renewable resources rose 73 per cent during the year, reflecting extra generation capacity coming into operation and favourable weather conditions.

SSE said total energy customer accounts fell by 100,000 during last year to 9.55 million. Average gas use was down 19.9 per cent, while electricity consumption dropped 6.9 per cent.

The company said the rise in wholesale gas prices hurt spark spreads – the difference between the cost of gas and the price of electricity produced from it – which averaged less than 1 pound/megawatt hour over the year.