Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the company that operates the gas and power transmission networks in the UK and in the northeastern US, believes the idea of large coal-fired or nuclear power stations to be used for baseload power is “outdated”:
“From a consumer’s point of view, the solar on the rooftop is going to be the baseload. Centralised power stations will be increasingly used to provide peak demand,” he says.
He also notes that energy markets “are clearly moving towards much more distributed production and towards microgrids”.
“This industry is going through a tremendous transformation. We used to have a pretty good idea of what future needs would be. We would build assets that would last decades and that would be sure to cover those needs. That world has ended. Our strategy is now centred around agility and flexibility, based on our inability to predict or prescribe what our customers are going to want.”