The government has appointed Nick Winser CBE as the UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner.
As the UK continues to decarbonise its electricity system ahead of the net zero by 2035 target, the need for new network infrastructure to facilitate the rollout of renewables and other low-carbon technologies is growing.
In an effort to ensure the right infrastructure is in place for the future energy system, the new role of Electricity Networks Commissioner was announced as part of the British Energy Security Strategy.
Winser will now work to dramatically reduce the timelines for delivering onshore transmission infrastructure by around three years, and develop recommendations to help halve the end-to-end project process by the mid-2020s.
“I am delighted to appoint Nick Winser as the UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner,” said business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
“Nick will play a pivotal role in ensuring the right network infrastructure is in the right places to ensure households can benefit from our abundant supply of clean, affordable, home-grown energy.”
Winser has over 30 years of experience working in the electricity network sector, including advising government and industry on energy policy.
He is currently chairman of the Energy Systems Catapult, and has previously held roles including UK and European CEO of the board of the National Grid, president of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (2013-2015) and CIGRE UK chair.
He is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and served as president of the organisation between 2017 and 2018.
“Electricity networks are essential to transporting new low carbon power generation, such as that from offshore wind and nuclear, to where it is needed, in homes and businesses across the country, where it will be used more and more for new purposes like charging electric vehicles and heating households through heat pumps,” said Winser
“I look forward to taking on this important new role where I can help accelerate the delivery of new electricity transmission infrastructure, helping to provide consumers with a secure, reliable, supply of green electricity, while keeping costs as low as possible.”
The appointment of Winser follows Simon Bowen being announced as industry advisor for Great British Nuclear and Tim Pick as Offshore Wind Champion, as the government looks to continue to boost the domestic generation mix, bolstering energy security.