National Grid open to giving up managing UK’s electricity

Posted: October 6, 2019 by tallbloke in Accountability, Energy

From the ‘Ok, you politicians have created this mess, you sort it out dept’:

National Grid would “absolutely consider” relinquishing its role managing Britain’s electricity system to an independent body if policymakers decided it was the “right thing to do”, according to the company’s chief executive. John Pettigrew told the Financial Times he would be likely to sit down with the UK government and Ofgem, Britain’s energy regulator, next year to look again at how the country’s electricity system is operated.

Since its privatisation in 1990, National Grid has been responsible for matching electricity supply with demand and keeping Britain’s lights on.  It faced questions over its management of the system after a blackout in August disrupted more than 1m homes and business in England and Wales, although the FTSE 100 company has maintained the incident was “extremely rare and unexpected”.

Mr Pettigrew said the system “operated as it was designed and it intended to” on August 9, when the blackout occurred.

Full story

  1. Dave Ward says:

    If it was operating as originally intended the blackout would not have happened…

  2. Dave Ward says:

    Mods – my last comment had the emphasis on the wrong word! It should have been on “Originally”

  3. Dodgy Geezer says:

    The emergency systems ‘operated as intended ‘ – cutting power to prevent damage. But we are complaining about the NEED to have an emergency in the first place…

  4. cognog2 says:

    Against my instincts I think a return to an organisation similar to the CEGB (the Central Electricity Generating Board) should be considered. Currently the National Grid is being required to cope with a system imposed upon it by Government Policy with little influence against the green activist agenda.
    As I recall it the CEGB was charged with the simple objective to provide a stable, adequate and reliable electricity supply at minimum cost; so thus could ensure that the correct balance and availability of the various generation technologies.
    Political interference with that objective should be resisted witch only a powerful organisation could do.

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    But cognog2, that would mean the end of subsidies, the end of wind turbines, the end of solar PV farms, the end of subsidies for burning wood. The end of all sorts of rorts just to get cheap reliable energy. Not likely, as Arfur said “nice little earner”.

  6. tom0mason says:

    National Grid would “absolutely consider” relinquishing its role managing Britain’s electricity system, and hands it over to Gaia’s human representative — Greta!

  7. oldbrew says:

    This crowd would like to turn the whole thing off…

    The madness of Extinction Rebellion

    This is an upper-middle-class death cult and we should ridicule it out of existence.

  8. Alex says:

    Some of the comments here are absolutely ridiculous. Of course the system operated as it was intended. If there is too much demand and Generation failure was greater than one single largest loss then if there is inadequate available generation to arrest the falling frequency then there is no alternative than to cut some demand. It works similar to a fuse in ones home.
    National Grid is the most efficient and proactive Transmission system in the world and if those that advocate Nationalising the system then good luck. I worked for the CEGB System Ops and the bureaucracy, inefficient waste that occurred was unbelievable. The only people a Nationalised system helped was the Union Left Wingers that used their Union duties to be lazy, not work and have an unhealthy delusion of grandeur (thinking they were management but their intellect showed them for what they were – thick left wing rabble).

    If you want greater reliability with the ever increasing new types of generation that doesn’t provide sufficient flexibility then the system needs to be upgraded at considerable expense. So, Energy prices could end up costing the customer three times more than what it does now. Nothing in life is free! Everything comes at a cost.

    Lets all go back to the 1970’s where the Left Wing ruled and life was so dismal and wasteful.

  9. It doesn't add up... says:

    The incentive for National Grid is to grow its asset base and thus increase its regulated return for the benefit of shareholders. It can do this by promoting a structure of generation that requires much more in the way of transmission lines, interconnectors (in which it tends to have financial interests), reactive compensators and other grid hardware necessary to try to manage the consequences of high levels of renewables, often distant from demand (Scotland, Dogger Bank…). It gains very little from running the grid control centre in Wokingham or the accounting and charging out for grid balancing and stabilisation services. Its financial interests are thus diametrically opposed to consumer interests, and aligned with the green lobby. It is actually in NG’s interest to have the occasional power cut that can be used to justify further expansion of its asset base.

    It would be a good idea if indeed politicians re-thought how the electricity system is governed. Start with GEMA and OFGEM, whose remit is set by Miliband’s 2010 Energy Act to provide primacy to green interests over consumer interests. Then work out how to realign the whole system in favour of consumers and competition, and lower cost but profitable supply. You’ll need to toss out much of the silly climate legislation along the way, and close down the Climate Change Committee. Incentivise the Grid on lowering costs, not increasing them. Hiving off the second to second management of the grid is an irrelevance.

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