National Grid faces being stripped of energy system management role. Ministers plan to deprive National Grid of the key responsibilities overseeing the UK’s electricity and gas systems, according to plans published on Tuesday, to help the country achieve its 2050 net emissions target. The business department has launched a consultation to create a new “impartial” organization separate from the FTSE 100 utility recommendations by regulator Ofgem earlier this year. Under the proposals, the roles performed by the National Grid Electricity System Operator – the part of the electricity network that matches the supply and demand of electricity and the avoidance of power outages – will be transferred to an independent body. In addition, ministers are considering giving the new organization the key responsibilities for gas, including long-term forecasting and strategic network planning, although National Grid will retain an excessive role in the national gas system. The government proposals extend beyond Ofgem. The watchdog recommended refraining from responsibility for electricity, but said further consideration was needed on the role of National Grid in the gas system, although it was said that there was a ‘good case’ to remove certain gas functions from the company to remove.
FT 19th July 2021 read more »
The government plans to strip National Grid of its role keeping Great Britain’s lights on as part of a proposed “revolution’” in the electricity network driven by smart digital technologies. The FTSE 100 company has played a role in managing the energy system of England, Scotland and Wales for more than 30 years (Northern Ireland has its own network). It is the electricity system operator, balancing supply and demand to ensure the electricity supply. But it will lose its place at the heart of the industry after government officials put forward plans to replace it with an independent “future system operator”. The new system controller would help steer the country towards its climate targets, at the lowest cost to energy bill payers, by providing impartial data and advice after an overhaul of the rules governing the energy system to make it “fit for the future”. The plans are part of a string of new proposals to help connect millions of electric cars, smart appliances and other green technologies to the energy system, which government officials believe could help to save £10bn a year by 2050, and create up to up to 10,000 jobs for electricians, data scientists and engineers.
Guardian 20th July 2021 read more »
There are also 2 government consultations being published today on proposed reforms to the energy system that will ensure frameworks are in place to drive the UK’s decarbonisation plans, while minimising costs to consumers and industry and maintaining resilience in the system. The Future System Operator consultation is on proposals to create a new energy system operator separate from National Grid plc with roles in both the electricity and gas systems. The challenges of meeting commitments to tackle climate change are creating the need for new technical roles and responsibilities in electricity and gas systems. New roles include planning and developing future energy networks and increasing competition so decarbonisation can be driven at the lowest cost to consumers and industry, and an impartial, single Future System Operator (FSO) – that covers both gas and electricity sectors – could be well-placed to meet these challenges. To deliver the roles effectively, a body will be required that is independent of any perceived conflicts of interest within industry and this consultation will ensure it remains accountable to consumers and is resilient to challenges over the short, medium and long terms.
BEIS 20th July 2021 read more »
Government and regulator sketch out their plans for net zero power system through package of new strategies, consultations, and calls for evidence. Just ahead of Parliament breaking up for summer recess, the government and energy regulator Ofgem have produced a series of net zero energy strategies, consultations, and calls for evidence that aim to establish a clearer picture of how the UK can deliver a zero carbon power system even as electricity demand skyrockets in the coming years. The government has also published two consultations today seeking views on proposed reforms to the energy system designed to deliver net zero emissions. The first sets out proposals to create a new energy system operator separate from National Grid plc responsible for both the electricity and gas systems. The second aims to consult on proposals to reform the codes that govern gas and electricity markets. Experts have long argued the governance reforms could help minimise potential conflicts of interest and unlock increased investment in clean technologies. Finally, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will today also publish two calls for evidence. The first is on the deployment of technologies that allow electric vehicles to export electricity from their batteries back to the grid and to homes during times of higher demand, and the second on how to enable large-scale and long-duration electricity storage that can deliver energy security when renewable energy generation remains low for sustained periods.
Business Green 20th July 2021 read more »
National Grid will be forced to sell its business managing Britain’s electricity system and elements of its gas business under government proposals to tackle concerns over conflicts of interest. A new “future system operator” will be created to take on real-time running of the electricity system and enhanced planning functions for both electricity and gas systems. The new body could be “a standalone privately owned” profit-making company, or a “highly independent” public sector corporation, according to a consultation. The government said that the assets would be transferred via “a sale process”, but gave no further details.
Times 20th July 2021 read more »