Extinction Rebellion has found itself an unlikely sympathetic ear in the form of an ex-oilman. Steve Holliday, the former boss of National Grid and now chairman of Cityfibre, has spent the better part of his career grappling with an issue Extinction Rebellion wants to put front and centre of politics: how to cut out carbon while keeping the lights on. “I was on stage at a conference with someone from Extinction Rebellion,” he says. “My final remark was: I think we agree on about 80pc of everything we talked about. “They’ve done a lot of good. Some of their methods I would not applaud, but if you look at some of the fundamental things they want to change, I concur with an awful lot of it.” It seems like an unusual position from a man who spent more than 20 years in the oil and gas industry, and 15 in utilities. It is roughly five years since Holliday stepped back from the top job at FTSE 100 stalwart National Grid. National Grid had to lay the groundwork for a shift to renewable energy. “At first, I can still recall we concluded in a very big report that once we got to 20pc renewables we were doomed and stability would be gone,” he says. “But here we are today, we have up to 60pc some days.” When Holliday took up the top job at National Grid, just 5.5pc of electricity was generated by renewables. Last year, the UK set a record of nearly 60pc in August.
Telegraph 21st March 2021 read more »