Northern Ireland power market remains vulnerable in the event of no-deal

The legal position of the Single Electricity Market linking Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains uncertain in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a new update from BEIS. That may require the government to seek additional powers to maintain supply in Northern Ireland.

Between GB and Europe legal agreements have been finalised for trade across interconnectors, which will allow power to be traded, albeit with more ‘friction’ with France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

But the Single Electricity Market may lose its legal basis in the event of no-deal, making it impossible to flow power between the Republic and Northern Ireland. As a result the government is considering how best to establish a separate Northern Ireland market. It will work with the Northern Ireland regulator to establish  fall-back arrangements to ensure power is able to flow over the Great Britain-Northern Ireland interconnector. Where necessary it will procure additional generation capacity, “as far as possible through a competitive procurement process involving existing generation and new generation investment alongside demand side measures”.

“It may be necessary to seek additional powers to preserve security of supply,” BEIS said.