Continuing from the previous part “https://bharatvasandani.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/brexit-and-renewable-energy-i/” here are some more thoughts to further understand the impact of Brexit on UK’s renewable energy sector:
Experts point out that much of the UK’s success in renewable energy has come with the regulatory [one of the most ambitious climate change policies] and financial support of the EU.
A Brexit would mean an end of funding support from EU for renewable energy projects and maybe without the push and pressure, UK could backslide on its carbon emissions goals. Unless they see a strong support from the UK government after Brexit, a Brexit may drive away the investors-atleast in the short term.
Statistics say that UK has received 24% of the The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) total investing of more than 7 billion euros into renewable energy since 2007. A Brexit could mean to a much lesser disbursement for projects in UK. A point to note is that non-EU countries have received only 12% of the disbursed funds.
The UK could presumably lose access to the EU’s eighth Framework Programme that funds innovation and research, Horizon 2020, which runs until 2020. A significant portion of these funds are dedicated to energy innovation and the UK is one of the larger recipients.
Many academic institutions and companies that currently benefit from the programme could see their funding evaporate negatively impacting R&D of new clean energy technologies.
Though the UK government has its own policy on climate change; it is not particularly focused on renewable energy only and without the pressure from EU, the industry may also see a lag from the government to achieve the targets due to budget constraints or weakening of the policy by a new government.
This thought comes from the fact that pro-Brexit supporters have blamed EU for rising electricity costs, closure of cola plants and energy taxes. The expectations are that post Brexit, support for renewable energy in UK will whittle down leading to less encouraging government policies.
The fear is that with Brexit UK will loose momentum on low carbon approach especially when following the Paris meet, low carbon has emerged as one of the key drivers of new economy.
Brexit would be bad for what has been achieved in Paris COP21
Experts point out that UK could adopt one of the following models following Brexit:
The Norwegian Model
- Continue in the single market, including for energy
- Requires acceptance of free movement of people and budgetary contributions
- All trade rules, including anti-dumping measures,
- Continue to apply Some veto powers on EU expansion
The Swiss Model
- Trade continues via a network of bilateral agreements for different goods
- Bilateral deals require participants to adhere to EU rules
- No influence on EU policy
- Create option to pick and choose areas of trade cooperation
- Switzerland is part of the Schengen group of countries
Joining the European Free Trade Area
- Free trade of goods but not people or services into the EU
- No budget contribution required
- The UK could leave trade to be defined by WTO rules
- All trade agreements would be independent of EU
- No free movement of people
- No right of access for service providers
- No budget obligation
Turkish and South Korean Models
- Turkey is part of the customs union but not the free trade area
- Turkey has many bilateral trade agreements, no free movement of people
- South Korea not part of customs union or free trade area
- South Korea has a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU,European subsidiaries required to access single market