Energy independence and interdependence

Reports & Briefings
Nicola McEwen

Key points:

An integrated GB wholesale electricity market in the event of independence is likely.

EU law provides the mechanism for joint support across member states, and the joint Swedish-Norwegian scheme provides a precedent for two independent countries sharing a scheme to incentivise renewable energy.

Both the Scottish and UK governments would face considerable pressure to grandfather existing commitments and contracts agreed with suppliers. Socialising costs for renewables and grid upgrades in the longer-term may be politically problematic.

A strategic energy partnership would impose constraints on the decision-making autonomy of both governments.

Formal partnership structures and intergovernmental agreements can facilitate cooperation, but dynamics will be shaped by the will to cooperate, competing policy priorities and political developments.