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”.
This might be ever so slightly unkind. But I’d describe this as pulling the grid out of the hands of the engineers and putting it into those of the politically connected. Because we all know how much better technical things work when they’re directed by politics rather than by people who know what they’re doing.
As to why, well, who wants actual engineers shouting that it cannot be done? That the phantasies just aren’t going to work?