National Grid faces a new battle over its future after the government said that it would look again at whether the utility giant should be broken up. The FTSE 100 group is under scrutiny after Britain had its worst blackouts in a decade on August 9. National Grid is the UK’s electricity “system operator”, running the control room that is responsible for keeping the lights on. The government threatened in 2015 to strip National Grid of the system operator role and make it independent amid concerns over potential conflicts of interest with the rest of the business. A review by Ofgem, the regulator, spared it from a break-up, instead making the Electricity System Operator (ESO) a legally separate business within the group from April. National Grid is facing the threat of nationalisation from the Labour Party. Investors are likely to be unnerved by the suggestion it could face more upheaval under a Tory government. Kwasi Kwarteng, the energy minister, told the Financial Times: “There is a question about the ESO and its role within the National Grid. People are saying now there may well be the case that the ESO . . . should be separate. This is a question that we’re looking at.”
Times 7th Sept 2019 read more »
UK energy minister questions future of National Grid. Kwasi Kwarteng says company might lose role operating country’s electricity system. The FTSE 100 company avoided a break-up in 2017 when Ofgem, the energy regulator, ruled it should be allowed to keep the electricity system operator role but it should be hived off into a legally separate business.
FT 6th Sept 2019 read more »