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Book Review

EUROPEAN ENERGY LAW REPORT VOLUME XII Editors Martha M Roggenkamp and Catherine Banet ISBN: 978 1 78068 672 1 INTERSENTIA www.intersentia.com

ENERGY SUPPLIES POST BREXIT: THE NEW ‘EUROPEAN ENERGY LAW REPORT’ RINGS AT LEAST A FEW ALARM BELLS An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”

W

hen first you switch on the lights in your home or office, it may or may not occur to you to wonder where the energy for this instant availability comes from. The awkward answer - if you live and work in the UK - is that the bulk of the UK’s electricity supply is imported, as this latest European Energy Law Report from Intersentia makes clear. UK residents, who get their electricity bills from EDF, for example, won’t need too much convincing on this point, recalling that EDF means ‘Electricite de France.’ How then and in what way will UK consumers of energy be affected by Brexit? There’s no one answer to this one as the longer-term results of Brexit will be revealed only in time. But on opening this Report, you are presented with the first of its thirteen chapters (from 17 expert contributors) which offers up a scary title: “Brexit and its Impact on the Energy Sectors. Pulling the Plug?” by author Silke Goldberg. Dr. Goldberg, a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, offers a carefully research analysis of the possible and probable impact of Brexit on the UK in respect of energy sources. The facts involved are of course, interspersed with quite a lot of speculation, as anything to do with Brexit is fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, certain facts speak for themselves. As we are reminded by Dr. Goldberg, ‘…the UK electricity market is highly interconnected,’ relying as it does on electricity flow from France, from where the UK imports up to 2GW. (Gigawatts). While admitting that physical disconnection of the UK and EU electricity markets is highly unlikely, Dr. Goldberg warns that

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‘Brexit may still negatively impact on energy trading and therefore on UK energy security, as the UK is a net importer of electricity.’ As an overview of - in the words of the editors - ‘the most important developments in the field of international, EU, and national energy and climate law,’ this book has certainly done its job, the common thread throughout being ‘the promotion of renewable energy sources.’ Divided into five parts, then book covers such matters as, of course, EU energy law, including case law…renewable energy production, particularly cross-border issues and dispute resolution…and energy consumers and “prosumers”. (The book explains what this means). Of interest are the sections on capacity markets and mechanisms which include a chapter on capacity markets in Great Britain. Also note the final section on promoting the use of sustainable gas and security of gas supply, with reference to EU and German perspectives. Mitigating the effects of climate change also looms large as a topic of note in what is an impressive Report, which should certainly attract the attention of environmental lawyers as well as the general reader seeking authoritative commentary on energy matters and the inherent legal issues.

The publication date is cited as at 20th November 2018. ■

by Elizabeth Taylor and

Phillip Taylor MBE

of Richmond Green Chambers

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Central London Lawyer May 2019  

The Official Law Journal for the City of Westminster Law Society. Featuring the latest news and features on International events, property a...

Central London Lawyer May 2019  

The Official Law Journal for the City of Westminster Law Society. Featuring the latest news and features on International events, property a...

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