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Brexit and Renewables in Scotland

Citation McEwen, N., McHarg, A., Munro, F., Cairney, P., Turner, K. and Katris, A. Brexit and Renewables in Scotland. 2019.
Author(s) McEwen, N., McHarg, A., Munro, F., Cairney, P., Turner, K. and Katris, A.
Download UKERC_BN_Renewables_in_Scotland.pdf document type
UKERC Report Number N/A

This briefing paper examines how renewables in Scotland are shaped by decisions taken by the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the EU. Drawing on interviews with stakeholders, it explores the potential impact of Brexit on Scottish renewables.

Brexit has the potential to disrupt this relatively supportive policy environment in three ways in regulatory and policy frameworks governing renewable energy; access to EU funding streams; and trade in energy and related goods and services.

Our briefing identifies varying levels of concern among key stakeholders in Scotland. Many expect policy continuity, irrespective of the future UK-EU relationship. There is more concern about access to research and project funding, and future research and development collaboration, especially for more innovative renewable technologies. The UK will become a third country forthe purposes of EU funding streams, able to participate, but not lead on renewables projects, and there is scepticism about whether lost EU funding streams will be replaced at domestic levels.

While there is no real risk of being unable to access European markets even in a No-Deal Brexit scenario, trade in both energy and related products and services could become more difficult and more expensive affecting both the import of specialist labour and kit from the EU and the export of knowledge-based services. Scotlands attractiveness for inward investment may also be affected.