SEM Committee Statement - Operation of the SEM after the End of the Brexit Transition Period

Date published:

SEM Committee

Information Note on the Operation of the SEM after the End of the Brexit Transition Period

27 November 2020

The SEM Committee is today publishing an update to its Information Note of 28 March 2019 regarding the implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit for the Single Electricity Market (SEM). Since the publication of that note, the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, has explicitly provided a legal basis for the continued operation of the SEM.

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.

From 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of the future partnership negotiations between the EU and the UK, the SEM will continue to operate as an all-island market. Trade between the SEM and the market in Great Britain, through the Moyle and EWIC interconnectors, will also continue, although this trade may be less efficient, as it will no longer be possible for some platforms that currently operate under EU rules to continue to do so. 

The SEM Committee has to date taken a number of steps to facilitate future trade between the SEM and the market in Great Britain so as to address this potential loss of efficiency:

  1. New arrangements have been put in place, which facilitate greater access for GB participants to the SEM. These arrangements went live in the Intraday Market between the SEM and Great Britain on 4 August 2020.
  2. New, more flexible order types have been added to the Intraday Markets between the SEM and Great Britain. These ‘complex order’ types went live on the 29 September 2020.

In addition to the steps already taken, we, alongside the CRU and UR, will continue to work to minimize the loss of efficiency in trading across the Moyle and EWIC interconnectors. We will continue to work together with Government Departments, Transmission System Operators, Market Operators and relevant market participants to deliver the best possible outcome for consumers.

The SEM Committee reassures customers that it will continue to actively monitor the market, in particular after the end of the transition period.