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April 5, 2017

New WEC study shows uncertainty in UK’s sustainable energy development due to Brexit

The World Energy Council (WEC) has published the eighth World Energy Issues Monitor 2017: ‘Exposing the New Energy Realities’, which shows Brexit has made the UK’s commitment to develop sustainable energy projects uncertain.

By Lopamudra Roy

The World Energy Council (WEC) has published the eighth World Energy Issues Monitor 2017: ‘Exposing the New Energy Realities’, which shows Brexit has made the UK’s commitment to develop sustainable energy projects uncertain.

The study reveals that though more than 1,200 energy leaders across 95 countries consider investment in renewable projects as their top priority this year, Britain’s decision to leave the EU has made the country's clean energy sector unpredictable.

Other major findings highlight that skill and efficiency in the energy sector has become a concern as workforce is ageing and not being adequately replaced.

In addition, digitisation of energy systems has given way to a rising threat to cyber security and commodity prices continue to be a major issue, particularly when planning revenue.

The WEC's secretary general Dr Christoph Frei said: “Our survey shows that energy leaders face and acknowledge disruptive change. The Issues Monitor illustrates that innovation issues such as digitalisation, decentralisation, innovative market design, and electric storage rapidly gain traction, while a more difficult growth context and new physical and digital risks are posing ever greater threats to the energy sector.

"How the different regions decide to address the challenges and tensions identified in our report will define the agendas for the future."

“Five years ago these issues were far from being a priority.”

The WEC survey has highlighted that Brexit will lead to other uncertainties in the UK, including European Investment Bank funding and the country’s membership with the Energy Union.

In addition, unpredictability will revolve around regulations such as EU State aid rules, the 15% interconnection target by 2030, the Renewable Energy Directive, and the EU Industrial Emissions Directive 2010.

Dr Frei further noted: “The survey indeed illustrates the tensions that emerge against the context of the grand energy transition. The report does not find reasons why the current high dynamics in the energy sector would slow down.

"How the different regions decide to address the challenges and tensions identified in our report will define the agendas for the future.”

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