National Grid calls for UK Energy Masterplan to meet climate change challenge


  • Greater Government, industry and consumer collaboration needed to determine route-map for low carbon economy
  • Carbon budgets to be implemented across all National Grid operations from 1 April 2009 and aligned to performance management
  • National Grid announces interim emissions reduction target of 45% by 2020

National Grid today called for a UK Masterplan to be developed, to determine the route-map for a low-carbon economy. The company also confirmed implementation of new internal carbon budgets, aligned to performance management, from 1 April 2009, and announced a new interim 45 per cent target reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020, as part of its target trajectory of 80 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

National Grid Chief Executive, Steve Holliday, said; "Despite the challenging economic conditions, we must not take our eye off the ball in tackling climate change.

“National Grid is committed to playing its part in addressing climate change, alongside others. But we need a Masterplan, with Government, industry and consumer collaboration, to determine the route-map for meeting Government targets of 80 per cent emissions reduction by 2050, and 15 per cent renewable energy sources by 2020. This joined-up approach is essential to get the right legislative and regulatory frameworks in place and ensure necessary infrastructure investment is available in a timely manner for the connection of new renewable sources of electricity generation, and development of technologies such as biogas production, and linking smart meters into smart grids.

“However, electricity is not the full story. Heat and transport must also play their part. These are all areas where policy is still to be developed and new technology needs to be fostered. That is why we need a Masterplan.”

National Grid is taking an energy and climate change leadership role in the UK. It  has developed scenario's to determine the projected energy mix required to meet Government’s 2020 climate change and renewable sources targets. It is investing around £3 billion a year in its electricity and gas networks – approximately three quarters of this investment in the UK – and focusing on new technologies to enhance energy efficiency across its networks. 

The company is also implementing annual carbon budgets across all its operations from 1 April 2009 and aligning emissions reductions alongside customer service, reliability, safety and financial performance management.

National Grid's Head of Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility, Joe Kwasnik, said; "We believe National Grid is among the first companies in the world to align company-wide emissions with performance management. Our new interim emissions reduction target of 45 per cent by 2020 – which goes further than the European Union’s potential 30% reduction commitment by 2020 - will provide a more relevant milestone for our business planning process and ensure emissions management is integrated into every aspect of our operational decision-making. “

Over the last 12 months, National Grid has undertaken a detailed emissions inventory of its operations, in line with various international and national guidance and industry standards, including the World Resources Institute (WRI) greenhouse gas reporting protocol. This determined a carbon footprint for each area of its operations which, together, are expected to total around 11.5 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) for 2009/10. It will also use the £27.60 per tonne shadow price of carbon, set by DEFRA, to determine accurate emissions costs for future design, construction and maintenance of its electricity and gas networks, management of its vehicle fleet and facilities, and any potential new investments.


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Notes to Editors:

About National Grid

  • National Grid is an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. We play a vital role in delivering gas and electricity to many millions of people across Great Britain and northeastern US in an efficient, reliable and safe manner. We are committed to safeguarding our global environment for future generations and providing our customers with the highest standards of service through investment in our networks and through our talented, diverse workforce.
  • National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns and operates the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain and its distribution business delivers gas to 11 million homes and businesses.  National Grid also has a number of related businesses such as LNG importation and storage, land remediation and metering.
  • In the US, National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers. It is also the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

National Grid and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Company-wide Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions for 2007/ 08 - if operations acquired through the US KeySpan acquisition (completed in August 2007) were included for the entire year - totalled around 12.1 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 
  • Company-wide emissions in 2007/08 reduced by approximately 30% compared with our reporting baseline. This directly compares with the 38% reported in the Annual Report and Accounts 2007/08, which excluded KeySpan operations.
  • The largest greenhouse gas emission sources are our electricity generation plants on Long Island in the US, which together totalled 4.1 Gigawatts of generation and account for approximately 51 per cent of the Company’s total emissions for 2007/08.
  • Company-wide greenhouse gas emissions for 2008/09 will be published on National Grid’s website in July 2009.