National Grid ESO sets out plan to support UK’s energy security

The boss of the electricity system operator said that Britain “faces three crises at once”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has challenged the UK to look again at its energy security.

That’s the suggestion from National Grid ESO’s Executive Director Fintan Slye who spoke during an industry event about measures that could support the UK’s energy system.

Mr Slye has hinted at changes to metering requirements for the Balancing Mechanism to help suppliers to bid aggregated demand into the Balancing Market.

In December, it was reported that from September to November 2021, the Balancing Mechanism cost reached £967 million, compared to £337 million the same period last year as a result of the soaring energy prices.

Speaking about the impact of various sanctions imposed against Russia, Fintan Slye added: “Looking at the short term – for the next 12 months – we at the ESO are doing all of the scenario planning that you would expect – assessing what the implications of various permutations of global sanctions or reactions could be.”

Earlier this month, the energy regulator expressed its approval of the government’s economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Slye added: “We have sufficient capacity in place today and there is no immediate threat to security of supply.  We have also secured adequate supplies through the Capacity Market to ensure security of supply margins are maintained through next winter.”

In the coming days, the government will reveal its Energy Security Strategy – the new guidance has already been criticised by Scotland’s Net Zero and Energy Secretary.

Fintan Slye said that the UK like many other countries in the world is seeing three crises at once – a war in Europe with severe impacts on energy security and prices; a cost of living crisis driven in part by energy prices, and a climate crisis which demands immediate action.

National Grid ESO’s boss continued: “This is the time for action – we need to move at pace and reform our energy system – to deliver energy security, to tackle climate change and to protect our people.

“This is both important and urgent – energy is the lifeblood of society and the economy – we must do this, we must do this right, and we must do this right now.”

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