Brexit and European Affairs
As 2018 draws to an end, we will be approaching a crucial time in the Brexit negotiations all the way till 29th March 2019.
We started 2018 by publishing our position paper Brexit and the future EU-UK relationship in which we called for an Energy and Climate Chapter to be included in the future agreement to ensure the smooth functioning of energy markets, the continued free flow of energy, and cooperation on the joint ambition to combat climate change in as cost-effective way as possible for customers and businesses. This publication was launched to coincide with our event with the British and Irish Chamber of Commerce where we reiterated our support for the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland and for close alignment to be the basis for the future.
We have carried on our engagement with the UK government and the EU throughout the year, through regular meetings with the relevant government departments, Ministers and MPs, as well as hosted our annual dinner in Brussels in September which provided a useful platform to share views and hopes between the UK and other EU countries on what the future relationship might look like. We have also continued our engagement with the European associations- Eurelectric and Eurogas- on a number of topics in various policy area. This cooperation will remain important, irrespective of the Brexit outcome.
- Read our paper on Brexit & future EU-UK relationship;
- Read our CEO's blog post on this issue;
- Read our letter co-signed by a wide range of signatories from other UK and European associations calling for energy and climate change to be included in the Brexit Political Declaration.
This year has also been crucial for the so-called “Clean Energy Package” consisting of a raft of legislation on energy efficiency, renewables and electricity market design. This file has been negotiated for the past two years and is currently reaching the final stage.
The objective of the package is to put the EU on track to meet the 2030 energy and climate targets, notably in renewables and energy efficiency, and to adapt electricity market design to the “greening” of the power system. The 2030 targets will be enforced through a set of governance rules, whereby Members States have to report periodically on progress and EU action is taken if Members States collectively fall short.
The electricity market design proposals are ambitious and aim to remove the main remaining obstacles to an integrated European wholesale market, e.g. by restricting national government intervention on prices and security of supply, ensuring more integrated management of transmission networks and strengthening the power of European bodies such as ACER. A new EU body for DSOs is to be established to help with Network Code drafting, reflecting the growing importance of decentralised generation, storage and demand-side response to the European power system. The Commission also aims to empower energy consumers though clearer price signals, easier switching and better access to technology.