Brexit bad for UK energy system, say industry professionals

Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK energy system. That’s the view of an “overwhelming majority” of Energy Institute (EI) members who were questioned about the EU referendum which […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK energy system.

That’s the view of an “overwhelming majority” of Energy Institute (EI) members who were questioned about the EU referendum which will take place next week.

EI’s Energy Barometer 2016 is an annual survey which reveals the concerns of energy professionals in the industry.

While they believe energy security is at risk regardless of whether Britain leaves the EU or not, they add the greatest risk is posed by the scenario in which the nation leaves both the EU and the single energy market.

They also believe businesses and investors will face economic impacts of price volatility in both scenarios.

According to EI’s Energy Barometer, leaving the EU but remaining in the single energy market is seen as a “double-edged sword”. It raises the opportunity for greater policy self determination as well as the potential of regulation without representation.

The area which will be have the most negative impact by an exit from the EU is addressing climate change and sustainability, it adds.

The energy professionals believe only the oil and gas sector could benefit “slightly” in a Brexit scenario.

They are also concerned about energy policy, investment in low carbon technologies such as storage and carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency and low oil prices.

EI President Jim Skea said: “The EI’s Energy Barometer 2016 report shows that the single biggest wish for people working in UK energy is a stable energy policy to help industry and financiers decide where to invest profitably and more crucially, to allow for long term planning.”

According to Lord Mandelson, a UK vote to leave the European Union would be a “massive setback” for the decarbonisation agenda.

The EI supports more than 23,000 individuals working in or studying energy and 250 companies worldwide, providing learning and networking opportunities to support professional development.