Thursday 26 October 2017
Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment welcomed leading experts from the energy industry and business today, to discuss the possible implications of Brexit for the energy sector. Minister Naughten opened the event by outlining the close economic and social ties between Ireland and the UK, emphasising the particularly strong and important links in energy
“The energy sector in particular has very many linkages on a North/South and East/West basis. The Single Electricity Market is one of the first truly cross border electricity markets operating in Europe and is one of the most visible and successful cross border collaborations.” Minister Naughten remarked.
Today’s event aimed to capture the issues that industry would identify as the Brexit negotiations evolve towards the second phase, to include trade. In this context the Minister said: “The energy sectors will continue to trade, but uncertainty is bad for markets and can lead to less efficient and more costly decisions being taken in the short term.”
Among the main issues for businesses in the face of Brexit are competitiveness, infrastructure decisions and Regulatory and legal underpinning of markets.
Participants discussed the key energy implications arising from the Brexit process, in particular those likely to affect day-to-day functioning in each sector, for example electricity, gas and transport fuels, as well as the wider business and industry impacts. The discussion also focused on the views of participants on how the effects of a UK departure from the EU could be addressed, as well as how Brexit has already affected business.
The Government announced a series of measures in Budget 2018 to further prepare Ireland’s economy for the significant challenges ahead. These measures include a new €300m low-cost Brexit loan scheme for business, as well as measures to help businesses diversify and reach new markets. Energy and climate specific measures include an increase in investments in energy efficiency for residential, commercial and public sector buildings, the National Broadband Plan, and supports for small businesses and digital skills.
These investments will ensure a competitive and resilient response, and will also help citizens and businesses face the adverse effects of Brexit.
This is the second in a series of Civic Dialogues hosted by Minister Naughten. The first focused on civil society and took place in Co. Roscommon in February of this year.