ESO goes global in drive for “green” power systems

The UK’s National Grid ESO is looking to global partners in a bid to reduce power system emissions and drive decarbonisation.

UK electricity system operator, National Grid ESO, has formed a Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) consortium in recognition of the globalisation of the electricity distribution sector and its need to “transform the way we power our needs”.

In announcing the launch of the consortium, ESO Executive Director Fintan Slye stated: “In the fight against climate change, we need to act now if we’re to make a difference – and for the world’s energy sector, that means accelerating efforts to decarbonise.”

He continued: “As Britain’s electricity system operator, we’re right at the forefront of that global effort. But the scale and urgency of the task can only be met by working together with others around the world.”

As a founding partner, National Grid ESO is also joined by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), The California ISO (CAISO), EirGrid of Ireland and Denmark’s Energinet. The initial aim of the group is to support a core team of technical partners from research institutes around the world. Amongst them are the Latin American Energy Organisation, Finland’s VTT, Imperial College London, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

As well as stimulating the research itself, focusing in particular on systems operation with high levels of renewable input, the consortium states an intention to ensure the findings of any research are shared globally. 

Slye adds: “As system operators who are at the forefront of the energy transition, we have an opportunity – and an obligation – to step up and provide leadership to accelerate change on a global basis; to make a difference not only for the energy industry, but for society and communities everywhere.

Many of the countries we’ll be working with and supporting are at the start of their decarbonisation journey, so this will mean helping to build some of the broader capabilities that will ultimately accelerate the transition – for example workforce capability, technology, tools and data standards.”

The announcement comes ahead of the COP26 (UN Climate Change) Conference, due to be held in Glasgow from 1st – 12th November this year, and follows the ESO’s stated intention back in 2019 – supported by infrastructure trade body BEAMA -  that the UK grid will be zero carbon capability by 2025.