Labour's Nationalisation Plan Would Delay Green Energy - National Grid

LONDON (Alliance News) - The Labour Party's plans to bring UK energy networks under public ...

Alliance News 16 May, 2019 | 6:52AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - The Labour Party's plans to bring UK energy networks under public ownership will delay efforts to move to green energy, National Grid PLC believes.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said bringing the grid into public ownership was the only way to "decarbonise the economy at the pace needed to secure the planet for our children and grandchildren".

But the firm – the UK's largest transmitter of energy and gas – said nationalisation was the "last thing" that was needed as the "enormous distraction, cost and complexity" of the proposals would distract from efforts to combat climate change.

Under the plans due to be unveiled on Thursday, Labour would create a National Energy Agency to replace the National Grid which would own and maintain the transmission infrastructure while overseeing targets for decarbonisation, and protect energy as a "human right".

Regional Energy Agencies would replace the existing Distribution Network Operators, and hold a statutory responsibility for decarbonising electricity and heat.

Long-Bailey, who will announce the plans during a visit to Salford with Jeremy Corbyn, said: "Climate change represents a risk to our future, but also an opportunity to gather our resources and transform it through a green industrial revolution.

"That means dramatic, public driven and coordinated action, without which we simply will not be able to tackle climate change."

A National Grid spokeswoman said the proposals would delay the progress being made to move to green energy, saying: "National Grid is one of the most reliable networks in the world, we are also at the heart of the decarbonisation agenda.

"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."

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, added: "Against the uncertain backdrop of Brexit, the country needs policies focused on powering economic growth in the future, nor revisiting mistakes of the past."

Meanwhile, Corbyn will focus on domestic solar energy and will unveil proposals to fit solar panels to a million social or low-income homes, helping reduce bills for cash-strapped residents.

Interest-free loans, grants and changes to regulations will help an additional 750,000 properties install solar panels under the Labour plan.

Corbyn said: "Our green industrial revolution will benefit working-class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding, well-paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long."

Labour claimed that installing solar panels on social and low-income homes could save bill payers an average of GBP117 a year, which could rise to GBP270 for retired households.

By Press Association Political Staff

source: Press Association

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
National Grid PLC 976.70 GBX 1.71

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