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Our strategy

National Grid ESO is preparing Great Britain’s electricity system to be able to run purely on zero-carbon electricity by 2025 whilst at the same time keeping the lights on for homes and business 24/7.

Find out how we're planning to achieve this, along with our other plans for Great Britain's electricity system.

Our mission is to enable the transformation to a sustainable energy system and ensure the delivery of reliable, affordable energy for all consumers.

Part of this means preparing Britain’s electricity system to be able to run on purely zero-carbon electricity by 2025, so we’re ready to accommodate whatever quantity of zero-carbon electricity is being generated at that time.

Over the last five years, we're proud to say the amount of carbon-based electricity in our system has reduced by an impressive 53%.

But there’s still plenty more to do before we reach our zero-carbon target.

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COP26: Our Road to Zero Carbon report

Our report charts the transformation of Britain's electricity system on its journey from coal to clean – and how we aim to run it purely with zero carbon power by 2025.

View the report
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What does success look like in 2025?

  • An electricity system than can operate carbon free

  • A whole system strategy that supports net zero by 2050

  • Competition everywhere

  • The ESO is a trusted partner

Delivering our strategy

Every business needs a business plan and we’re no exception.

The difference with National Grid ESO is that we’re a regulated business so what we are going to deliver is agreed in partnership with our regulator, Ofgem, as well as the wider energy industry.

Our business plans, also known as RIIO business plans, are long term plans that detail the investments we’ll make, how we’ll innovate for the future and the performance outcomes upon which we’ll be measured. 

We also create an annual Forward Plan, a shorter-term plan that aligns to the wider RIIO business plan.

This ensures we deliver the best value for consumers in a transparent and accountable way.

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What is RIIO?

RIIO is a performance-based framework created by Ofgem to determine what energy companies can charge for their services and what companies must deliver.

The need for Ofgem to be involved is down to the fact that monopoly businesses, such as the ESO has no natural competition (like the supermarkets for example, where they have to keep prices low otherwise they lose customers to a cheaper supermarket).

RIIO is short for Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs

In fact, the amount we can earn from operating the network is usually fixed for a certain amount of time called a ‘price control period’.

It may not seem like a big deal, but helps keep the energy market stable.

Working to the RIIO framework, means that we are required to operate the network efficiently, sustainably and with the customer in mind.

Becoming a trusted partner to the industry

One of our 2025 ambitions is for the ESO to become a trusted partner. However, we know from stakeholder feedback that we need a step change in our behaviour to achieve this. 

As ESO, we are committed to bringing greater transparency of our operational decision making.

Greater transparency ensures those who are working with the ESO are able to understand our approach, access and understand our data. In turn this ensures a clear and consistent approach for our stakeholders which in turn improves the effectiveness and efficiency of our work.

We have been doing this already through enhanced data flows, sharing insight and revolutionising our communication platforms to share the data and insight of our Electricity National Control Centre (ENCC).

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ENCC Transparency Roadmap

Our next step is in publishing the ENCC Transparency Roadmap which highlights the activities we will be delivering in the short to medium term. 

We encourage you to visit our Data Portal, immerse yourselves in the enhanced datasets being created, and to engage in our weekly Operational Transparency Forum. We are keen to get your feedback and collaborate to design new datasets and provide additional meaningful insight.

Please contact us at [email protected]

Download ENCC Transparency Roadmap