Will the lights go out after Brexit?

On 22-23 March 2018, the University of Edinburgh and ClimateXChange co-hosted two events exploring the potential impact of Brexit on the Scottish energy system. Over the two days, a distinguished set of experts from across industry, government, academia and law debated the risks and uncertainties of Brexit in the context of the Scottish Government’s ambitious decarbonisation strategy, and the UK’s wider climate and energy policy agenda.

The first event – a panel discussion – discussed the question ‘How disruptive will Brexit be to Scotland’s Energy Strategy?’. The aim of the event was to provide a Scottish perspective on the impact of Brexit on our energy system. Indeed, this is a highly topic issue; the Scottish Government has been at the forefront for building the case against the UK’s departure from the European Union, and has recently published an assessment highlighting significant costs of a ‘hard’ Brexit to the Scottish economy

The following day an invitation-only workshop gathered 15 experts from across government, industry, and academia to consider the future of the UK’s electricity system in the context of Brexit. Participants engaged with the following questions:

  • What are the risks and uncertainties facing the UK electricity system after Brexit? To what extent does the functioning of this system – now and in the future – depend on EU membership?
  • How can the probability and impact of the identified risks be measured and assessed?
  • What can be done to mitigate risk and reduce uncertainty for the UK electricity system following Brexit?