Labour lays out its electricity renationalisation plans

16th May 2019 | Commercial Energy

Labour has fleshed out is plans to renationalise the UK’s energy networks should it get into power, saying it will help to decarbonise British electricity. Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey will say the utilities company should be taken out of the hands of private shareholders and transformed through a “green industrial revolution”.

The Government would then fully own, operate and expand the National Grid through the creation of a new body called the National Energy Agency, akin to the Central Electricity Generating Board, the publicly owned company that ran the UK’s electricity networks up to 1990.

“While government intervention and subsidies have led to private companies investing significantly in renewable generation like offshore wind, private network companies have failed to deliver decarbonisation at the speed and scale required despite heavy incentivisation,” Labour said in its Bringing Energy Home report. “Grid operators are notorious for delays in connecting new renewable generation and over-charging clean energy developers – effectively preventing community generators from connecting to the grid.”

The National Grid, which became a private company in the 1990’s, said the policies were the “last thing” the UK needed to help tackle climate change. A National Grid spokeswoman refuted Labour’s claims, saying the proposals would delay the progress being made to move to green energy: “National Grid is one of the most reliable networks in the world. We are also at the heart of the decarbonisation of agenda.

“These proposals for state-ownership of the energy networks would only serve to delay the huge amount of progress and investment that is already helping to make this country a leader in the move to green energy. At a time when there is increased urgency to meet the challenges of climate change the last thing that is needed is the enormous distraction, cost and complexity contained in these plans.”

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