Energy Live article : by Johnny Bairstow : published 25 November 2019
The Sunday Times has reported National Grid has opened holding companies in Hong Kong and Luxembourg and suggests SSE has done the same in Switzerland.
The precaution would not prevent the companies from being taken over by a Labour Government but could help to protect investors – the party plans to renationalise the UK’s railways, mail service, water supply, broadband provision and energy networks to benefit consumers, decarbonise the economy faster and create jobs.
Businesses that could be affected fear they could be nationalised at less than their current market value, which would prove detrimental to shareholders, which include pension funds.
National Grid is worth £31 billion, while SSE has a market value of £13.6 billion.
In a statement, the Labour Party said: “The UK’s energy networks are vital strategic infrastructure on which we all rely. You cannot boil a kettle, heat your home or run a business without the grid.
“The idea that private owners, who have been ripping off the public, would move offshore in an attempt to prolong the rip-off illustrates just why we need the grid back in public hands.”
The North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) has stated publicly that it wants to engage with both the Norwegian and U.K. authorities to pull them into the development of the offshore hub. As well as offshore wind expertise and access to the North Sea, both can also use oil and gas know-how to store hydrogen in offshore reservoirs and retrofit gas pipelines to transport hydrogen instead. A spokesperson for BEIS said: “The government recognizes the benefits of hybrid projects, including joint interconnector and wind projects, which may develop into efficient and cost-effective solutions to help the U.K. decarbonize. We are continuing to engage with stakeholders and developers to understand the potential benefits of these projects.”
Installing an additional 30GW within ten years will require significant changes to a range of policy frameworks, and co-operation between government and industry, writes Christopher Hopson