Tue 23rd May 2017
Maintaining the Single Electricity Market must be a government ‘Brexit’ priority says NI Chamber
Protecting the all-island electricity market and the introduction of the Integrated-Single Electricity Market must be a priority in upcoming ‘Brexit’ negotiations.
That was the message delivered today by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) at the latest NI Chamber / SONI Energy Forum held at Newry’s Norbrook Laboratories.
The business organisation, which represents over 1,200 members from across Northern Ireland, says the Single Electricity Market offers significant benefits to consumers, including businesses and employers throughout the region and that it must be at the forefront of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy.
Introduced in 2007, the Single Electricity Market was designed to achieve more efficient electricity prices for consumers across the island. Looking ahead, the Integrated-Single Electricity Market will be implemented in 2018 to build upon the success of the current all-island market and create even greater levels of competition, resulting in a downward pressure on the cost of electricity for everyone.
Ann McGregor, Chief Executive at Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, commented:
“Great strides have been made in many aspects of North South co-operation ranging from health, agriculture and energy. It is important that any negotiations between the UK and EU ensure that those strong ties with the Republic of Ireland on issues of major importance to both sides of the border are not eroded.
“There is a need to underline the importance of the all island energy market in ongoing negotiations. Implementation of the I-SEM will increase competition in the all-island electricity market and provide further benefits to consumers.
“NI Chamber also continues its strong support for the North South Interconnector – a project that will benefit business consumers throughout Northern Ireland and when operational will be the lynchpin of the all island electricity market.”
Robin McCormick, General Manager of SONI, said:
“At SONI, we make sure that business has the power to thrive and so our role is essential in supporting the local economy.
“We do this through the delivery of important infrastructure projects such as the North South Interconnector, which will bring direct benefits to businesses everywhere; ensuring a secure supply of electricity and putting downward pressure on costs.
“The interconnector is also critical to ensuring that the I-SEM will function efficiently.
“The need and rationale for both of these projects remain regardless of Brexit.
“The implementation of the I-SEM and the strengthening of the all-island market arrangements make good economic sense for everyone.”