Dr Paul Golby confirmed as new energy system operator chair

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho has appointed Dr Golby as the National Energy System Operator's (NESO) inaugural chair

  • Dr Paul Golby announced as the National Energy System Operator’s (NESO) inaugural chair, overseeing the transition from the National Grid’s Electricity System Operator
  • NESO will play a vital role in supporting the UK’s energy security, the transition to net zero and minimising bills
  • Dr Golby will begin as chair-designate on 6 May, ahead of NESO’s creation this summer

Dr Paul Golby CBE is today confirmed as the first Chair of the National Energy System Operator (NESO). 

NESO will be the new independent public body responsible for planning and operating Great Britain’s electricity and gas networks. 

Soon to transition from the National Grid to public ownership, NESO will play a vital role in supporting the UK’s energy security, transition to net zero and minimising customers’ bills. In his role as chair, Dr Golby will help establish NESO as a trusted, expert body at the centre of the energy system. 

He will take up his post on 6 May and oversee the creation of the new body. Once fully established later this year, he will take up appointment as the Independent Chair of NESO.  

Dr Golby brings extensive experience to the new role - most recently serving as Chair of the National Air Traffic Service. He is the former CEO of E.ON UK and was previously Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Safety, Environment and Health Committee at National Grid. He is also recognised for his contributions to the engineering field as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said:  

“Dr Golby brings extensive industry experience and will help our new energy system operator take its important first steps.  

“With demand for electricity forecast to double by 2050, and with ambitious net zero goals to hit, this new organisation under his leadership will help us create a modern system that powers Britain with secure, clean energy, and keeps costs low for bill payers.” 

Incoming NESO Chair, Dr Paul Golby, said: 

“I am delighted to have been appointed as inaugural Chair of NESO and look forward to working with the board, management and team as it transitions out of National Grid and builds it capabilities to provide robust, data-based advice to Government.  

“Decarbonising our energy system, whilst ensuring security of supply at an affordable cost, is one of the most important challenges facing the UK.  

“I look forward to working with all stakeholders; Government, industry, regulators and community leaders as we continue on this critical journey.” 

Dr Golby’s selection was scrutinised by the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee on 24 April after a competitive recruitment process. 

Appointing Dr Golby as NESO’s inaugural chair is a key milestone that demonstrates the government is fulfilling its plan to deliver a more secure, clean energy system. 

NESO is set to launch in summer 2024 as a public corporation free from commercial interests and operationally independent from government. 

The Secretary of State for Energy Security will be sole shareholder of NESO, and Ofgem will regulate NESO and be responsible for approving its business planning.

From: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and The Rt Hon Claire Coutinho MP