Steve Aiken welcomes creation of UK ‘Future System Operator’ for Energy

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Steve Aiken welcomes creation of UK ‘Future System Operator’ for Energy

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Finance Spokesperson, Steve Aiken, has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that it is to create a new Future System Operator (FSO). The new authority will oversee Britain's electricity systems and other projects such as carbon capture and offshore wind networks.

Steve Aiken, Ulster Unionist candidate for South Antrim in the upcoming NI Assembly election said:

“The need to tackle the twin challenges of European energy shortages and to accelerate towards the decarbonisation of our electricity system has brought the welcome news that a new U.K. publicly owned ‘Future System Operator’ for the electricity grid is to be set up.

“This will allow our Nation to set targets for renewables and create the market structure, not just for energy delivery, but for security of supply.

“The Ulster Unionist Party has called for a full review of the Integrated Single Energy Market (I-SEM), and the monopolistic positions of SONI (Eirgrid) – the present NI System Operator - and NIE (ESB) within our markets. The NI Utilities Regulator has already called into question the governance arrangements within SONI.

“With a rapidly shifting global energy system it’s clear that Northern Ireland is too much of an outlier; to achieve our de-carbonisation goals and to make sure our lights stay on, we should be part of the United Kingdom’s new energy system.

“Ulster Unionists have made an Assembly Election 2022 manifesto commitment to set-up a review of our energy regulatory and infrastructure system as part of any future Programme for Government and will ensure the review considers Northern Ireland joining the new UK ‘Future System operator.’’