- Distribution Network
- Transmission Network
In January, we published our review of GB energy system operation. In the report, we considered changes in the energy system to achieve net zero, the roles and functions the GB electricity and gas system operators could be required to perform to facilitate net zero, the suitability of the current system operation arrangements and potential options for alternative system operation models. We recommended to Government that the system operator for electricity is made fully independent from the transmission network owner, and that there could be a case for separating key gas network planning functions from the gas transmission owner. If these gas functions were separated, they could be combined with the functions of the system operator for electricity to create a new independent energy system operator. This new, independent system operator could be well placed to take on additional responsibilities including independent advice and more direct planning of the future energy system.
Building on this work, Ofgem and BEIS have jointly published a consultation on proposals for an expert, impartial Future System Operator (FSO) with responsibilities across both the electricity and gas systems, to drive progress towards net zero while maintaining energy security and minimising costs for consumers. Our proposal is for all the current National Grid ESO roles and functions to be carried out by the FSO, and that the FSO should undertake strategic network planning, long-term forecasting, and market strategy functions in gas. We also consider:
- The new roles and functions an independent FSO could potentially fulfil in gas and electricity, including in network planning and independent advice;
- The options for organisational models where we explore a standalone privately owned model independent of energy sector interests and a highly independent corporate body model classified within the public sector, but with operational independence from government; and
- Implementation where we have proposed a phased implementation of the FSO, founded on the existing capabilities of National Grid ESO and where appropriate National Grid Gas.
The consultation, including details on how to respond, can be found on the government’s website.