WindEurope briefing on EU-UK energy future released


European wind energy think-tank WindEurope has released a briefing on what can be expected in the European and UK wind markets following the latter’s official departure from the European Union (EU).

The UK has begun a “transition period” during which the two regions will negotiate their future relationship, but will remain in the EU Internal Energy Market until the end of the period at the end of 2020.

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Furthermore says WindEurope, the UK will remain bound by EU regulations and policies, though no longer be represented in the EU’s decision-making bodies.

Free movement of goods, services, labour, and capital will continue for the time being, as the UK will remain in the Single Market and Customs Union.

An EU-UK trade agreement would result in additional administrative (customs) requirements as early as 2021. WindEurope doesn’t anticipate new tariff barriers if a deal can be reached, however, even allowing for a starting point of convergence, 11 months is an extremely tight deadline for an agreement to be reached.

In addition, the UK wind industry relies on European engineers to keep wind farms running. Brexit could make the free movement of such personnel much more difficult.

The UK remains the world’s largest offshore wind market. But the European Commission has taken a hard line on future UK participation in the North Seas Energy Forum. This could have a negative impact on the deployment of offshore wind in Europe – one of the touchstones of the energy transition.

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