Apr 6, 2022

UK to renationalise electricity system oversight

The UK government is pushing ahead with plans to create a new public body to oversee Britain's energy system as it continues to transition away from fossil fuels, effectively renationalising critical responsibilities that have been held by National Grid since its privatisation in the 1990s. The business department on Wednesday confirmed it would create a publicly owned "Future system operator", which would take on the main responsibilities for managing Britain's electricity system currently carried out by National Grid, plus some of its work in overseeing the gas network. National Grid's energy system oversight roles had long been criticised by some MPs and other energy companies over concerns of potential conflicts of interest. Its role of balancing supply and demand and ensuring the electricity system is stable has become increasingly difficult in the last decade as Britain has grown its share of weather-dependent renewable energy generation. Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem, said a public body that had operational independence from the government would be "Capable of taking on a wider remit as the energy system becomes ever more complex and is focused fully on the interests of consumers".

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