GMB has slammed National Grid as being “naively complacent” over its intention to use demand-side response (DSR) to avoid blackouts, and has called for the company to be stripped of its system operator role.
The union for energy workers said a “smart energy revolution”, where an internet of energy allows fridges, washing machines and dishwashers to be automatically run at times of low-energy-demand to help lower peak demand is “fanciful nonsense”.
GMB’s national secretary Justin Bowen said such a smart grid is “years away” and what the UK really needs are new power stations and the go-ahead for nuclear power station Hinkley Point C.
Bowen said: “The government needs to stop the whispering and come clean with a fully worked strategy that ensures short and long term energy security.”
He said there are “too many jockeys on the horse” for responsibility of UK power supplies and it is time for the government to take control.
The union added that National Grid’s policy of paying companies to stop working using consumer’s money is a “bonkers policy that only a natural monopoly would dare to implement”.
Last month National Grid announced it would not be procuring any demand side balancing reserve for the coming winter after its tender showed minimal volume would be available across the required period.
This is despite the company stating only last year that demand side measures would be used to meet “well over 50 per cent” of balancing requirements by 2030.