National Grid's new strategy a 'transformational step up in energy infrastructure investment,' CEO says

Yes, good morning. Well, today alongside our annual results, we're announcing what I can only describe as a transformational step up in energy infrastructure investment, which is probably unprecedented in terms of its scale. So we're announcing over the next five years a £60 billion capital program, more than half of that will be in the UK and about £28 billion of it in the US. And you know, that's going to enable not only the, the progression of the energy transition, but actually we'll support over 60,000 jobs by the end of the decade as well, incremental jobs to what we support today. It's a fabulous sea chain. I agree. I think it's, it's, it's huge. But, but my issue is it's great for the consumers, it's great for the countries, it's great for energy security. Is it great for your shareholders though, John? They have, they haven't to foot quite a bill at the moment. Yeah. So obviously over the last few days we've been talking to all our investors and actually the feedback has been really positive. They're excited about the scale of the investment opportunity that's in front of us. And as you said in in your opening remarks, you know it's a comprehensive financing package that we're putting together and that includes a £7 billion rights issue. And that was important to us. We wanted our existing investors to be able to participate in what is an exciting period of investment for National Grid. And it's exciting if you hit your targets and there was a utility leader who I spoke to about 20 years ago who promised great CAGR and, and it was really embarrassing for him because he never got anywhere near. Now you're promising EPSCAGR of 6 to 8% from the the current year baseline or 2425 baseline as well. How demanding are those growth targets, John? Yeah. So that's underlined by a fact that over the next five years, we'll be growing our asset pit, our asset base by 10% per annum. And that asset base, of course, as a regulated utility drives our revenues. And as long as we can deliver that work really, really efficiently, which is really important to our customers as well, then we can deliver that 6 to 8% EPS CAGR that we talked about this morning. So, you know, there's a lot of work to be delivered, but we're well set up to deliver it. And, you know, very confident we can deliver those financial performances as well. It won't be lost on you. Absolutely the opposite. You'll be very aware of the background of elections in both countries. You know, you're 28 billion, you're investing the states 30 odd billion over here as well, regardless of who's in the White House or #10 Downing Street. Do people like me and my colleagues in this industry and the analysts, we spend far too much time worrying about who the politician is in charge of the country, which would create a backdrop for investment? Or I mean, what? I'm guess the point I'm making is business can grow these assets and their business plan regardless of who the national leader is. Yeah, what's important to us is probably not the colour of the political party, but actually what we've got is stable and consistent policy. National Grid invests in assets that are going to be in the ground for 4050, sixty years. And therefore, you know what we've said that today is the £60 billion capital program. We've got clarity of the need for that because of the energy transition. And actually we've got significant support on both sides of the house in the UK and actually in the States in the US as well. You know, our state regulators are very supportive of this investment. So it's all about having stable policy and regulation for a company like National Grid that's investing in such long term assets.

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