National Grid faces being stripped of its role managing Britain’s electricity system after the energy regulator, Ofgem, concluded an independent body was needed to lead net zero energy transition.
FT 25th Jan 2021 read more »
Ofgem has called for the creation of a new independent body to oversee the UK’s transition to a net zero electricity system, in a landmark move that would strip responsibility for balancing Britain’s grid from National Grid in order to combat long-standing conflict of interest concerns. National Grid has managed Britain’s grid since it was privatised over 30 years ago, but the UK’s energy regulator today recommended fully separating out this responsibility from the company, arguing a new independent body would be better placed to lead the path to net zero emissions at the lowest cost to consumers.
Business Green 25th Jan 2021 read more »
Strip National Grid of power system oversight, says Ofgem. The energy regulator has recommended the effective break-up of the FTSE 100 company, with one of its key functions taken on by a new body. National Grid should be stripped of one of its core powers, the energy regulator has said, in a bid to help the UK reach its net zero carbon emissions target. Ofgem believes a new independent body should take charge of balancing electricity supply and demand, as it would be better placed to foster more wind power, solar power and electric cars. Its recommendation has been passed to a government review which will decide whether National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) should be split off from the rest of the group, having already been spun into a legally separate entity in 2019. The ESO is a small part of the FTSE 100 company financially but gives it an important and prestigious role in keeping the lights on. It faced questions during the August 2019 national power cuts over how well equipped it was to manage a system that has increasing amounts of intermittent power, from wind and solar.
Telegraph 25th Jan 2021 read more »
Guardian 25th Jan 2021 read more »
For three decades since its privatisation, responsibility for keeping Britain’s lights on has been held by National Grid. At its Berkshire control rooms, engineers work around the clock to monitor electricity supply and demand in real time, instructing power plants to fire up or cut back to prevent blackouts. It is the most high-profile role in the energy industry — and now its looks almost certain to be taken away. Ofgem, the energy regulator, said yesterday that the FTSE 100 group should be stripped of its role managing the electricity system to avoid potential conflicts of interest with the rest of the company’s British businesses. It recommended that the government create an independent system operator that would take on enhanced responsibilities in the push to decarbonise the energy system, a move that it said could save consumers up to £4.8 billion in the next three decades. Ofgem is recommending that the planning functions of the gas system operator be moved to the new independent body to alleviate possible conflicts, such as advising on whether National Grid’s transmission network could best be converted to carry hydrogen, as it hopes, or might be rendered obsolete by greater electrification.
Times 26th Jan 2021 read more »