SEM Committee Statement on REMIT
The Single Electricity Market (SEM) is the wholesale electricity market for the island of Ireland.
The SEM allows generators and suppliers to trade electricity in a single market across the island of Ireland. Being part of an all-island market brings benefits to electricity customers in both Northern Ireland and Ireland by reducing electricity prices and by increasing security of electricity supply.
The market is jointly regulated by the Utility Regulator and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. The decision-making body which governs the market is the SEM Committee (SEMC).
In its information note of 27 November 2020, the SEM Committee noted that the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland which entered into force on 1 February 2020, explicitly provides a legal basis for the continued operation of the SEM.
For the last number of months, the UK Government and the European Commission (along with ACER) have been discussing the issue of registration of market participants under REMIT in the context of Brexit. The SEM Committee notes that these discussions are ongoing as to a common interpretation as regards how the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol apply to this issue.
The SEM Committee notes that ACER have published Open Letters on this topic, most recently on 18 December 2020 and have directly contacted SEM market participants in Northern Ireland with guidance on the matter. However, the SEM Committee also notes the communication from the Utility Regulator to market participants established in Northern Ireland that there is a legal obligation for market participants to register with UR and instructing Northern Ireland market participants not to take re-registration actions until the discussions between the EC and the UK are concluded.
While acknowledging the concerns of market participants as regards compliance with REMIT while current discussions aimed at resolving the differing interpretations are continuing, the SEM Committee reassures customers and stakeholders that the operation of the market will continue unaffected, that the prohibitions associated with market abuse contained in REMIT will continue to apply to all market participants, and that the SEM Market Monitoring Unit will continue to actively monitor the market.
In the meantime, all transactions to be reported by market participants (or by SEMO on behalf of market participants from Northern Ireland) are to be stored and reported to ACER in due course.