Britain plans to create more independent electricity market operator

A farmer works in a field surrounded by electricity pylons in Ratcliffe-on-Soar, in central England, September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Britain plans to create a more independent electricity market operator within National Grid, which currently runs the system, to boost competition and benefit consumers.

Energy regulator Ofgem and Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Thursday set out plans aimed at creating a new, legally-distinct operator which could be set up with its own board by April 2019.

The new operator, within National Grid, would carry out existing functions such as balancing power supplies as well as new roles such as prompting so-called smart solutions to manage increasingly complex energy flows.

“We need a more flexible energy system so that we can make the transition to a lower carbon future. A more flexible system will also ensure customers get the most out of new smart technologies,” Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said.

(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan. Editing by Jane Merriman)