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Taking global action to drive greener power systems around the world

Our executive director Fintan Slye introduces the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) consortium, and how it aims to boost worldwide efforts to reduce power system emissions.

As a global society, it’s never been more important for us to transform the way we power our needs.

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.

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.

Today, I’m privileged to be speaking alongside the US and UK energy secretaries at the launch of the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) consortium – a bold initiative established to navigate the challenges ahead and harness the potential of clean energy.

Find out more about today's G-PST consortium launch

National Grid ESO is a founding partner of the G-PST alongside the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), California ISO (CAISO), Ireland’s EirGrid and Denmark’s Energinet.

We’re proud to be part of its collaborative endeavour to find a way – with the support of a core technical team of leading research institutes – to integrate increasing volumes of renewables onto the world’s power systems.

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.

Britain’s own story – which we'll be sharing during the COP26 climate conference – shows how quickly the decarbonisation narrative can change

Our aim is to do this in two ways. First, to align the best research minds and research institutions worldwide around the real world technical challenges faced in operating electricity systems with high levels of renewable generation.

Second, to disseminate our research findings broadly, sharing expertise to help other jurisdictions and system operators embrace – and successfully manage – more and more clean power.

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.

Britain’s own decarbonisation story – which as a principle partner to the forthcoming COP26 climate conference our National Grid group will be sharing with the world – shows how quickly the narrative can change.

Read more about our role in the COP26 climate conference

In the space of five years we progressed from coal generating electricity every hour of every day, to achieving a 67-day run of coal-free electricity last year – contributing to the greenest year on record.

Just a few weeks ago we saw the lowest ever carbon intensity on Britain's electricity system, with zero carbon power sources making up almost 80% of the nation’s power.

And this week our government has announced a stretching new climate commitment to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035.

For our part, our ambition at National Grid ESO is to be able to operate a zero carbon electricity system by 2025.

I’m looking forward not only to us meeting that target, but – through the new G-PST consortium – sharing what we’re learning along the way, to have a global impact and help countries worldwide to a cleaner, more affordable energy future.