EAI response to ‘breakthrough’ deal on Brexit

The Irish all-island electricity industry welcomes the progress, announced today in Brussels, between the UK and EU, which looks set to conclude the first phase of the Brexit negotiations.

EAI CEO Owen Wilson said:

“We are delighted that a deal has been reached allowing for “full alignment” with the rules of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union to protect North-South co-operation and maintain an open border between North and South.  We also acknowledge the earlier commitments of the UK and EU institutions to preserve the Single Electricity Market (SEM) on the island.

“In particular, we welcome the mutual commitment to a transition period, which will go some way to providing market stability and maintaining investor confidence during the transition from the current market design to the Integrated Single Electricity Market (ISEM).  However it’s vital that the negotiations now move quickly to finalise these transitional arrangements.

“The transition period should provide sufficient time to agree the future EU/UK trading relationships, including energy.  It is vitally important that the UK and EU prioritise early negotiation of their shared commitment to maintaining the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland.

“The SEM has delivered significant benefits on an all-island basis in terms of market efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced security, and represents a positive manifestation of the Good Friday Agreement. As the market transitions to I-SEM in 2018, further potential benefits are set to be realised including more efficient use of electricity interconnections with Great Britain, which will help underpin key investment projects. EAI is of the view it is important that the delivery of these benefits is not undermined by Brexit.”