Wednesday 14 August 2019

Brexit in a blaze of no-deal glory would leave the climate, consumers and Conservatives worse off

Last Friday’s blackout is a serious wake-up call for the Government’s complacency in the energy sector and underlines the necessity for it to be fast tracked to the top of our national agenda. 

Firstly, we must acknowledge that decoupling the UK from the EU’s Internal Energy Market (IEM) will undo decades of policy and regulatory collaboration and must therefore be avoided at all costs.Secondly, exiting the IEM under no-deal would cost consumers up to £500m per year by the early 2020s, according to a National Grid study. Essentially, reversing the market accessibility that allowed Ofgem’s latest price cap reduction.

Last, but by no means least, there is the matter of securing the UK’s energy supply for the foreseeable future – a challenge exacerbated by the planned closure of all coal-fired power stations by 2025 that could see an electricity supply gap of 55%. For the next 10-15 years investment in energy sector will likely halve, resulting in abandoned generation projects, sluggish grid improvements and compromised utility asset quality.

This is why we must remain within the Internal Energy Market and continue our meaningful advocacy for the EU Emissions Trading scheme that will help the European region decarbonise at an affordable cost. To exit in the much touted “do or die” blaze of glory would see only increased electricity price rises and reduced economic competitiveness, setting the UK market back years if not a decade. The climate, consumers and Conservatives would all be worse for it.  


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