The Single Electronic Market (SEM),  was previously the wholesale electricity market for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, governing the all-Ireland electricity sector. The SEM was established in 2007 by unifying EirGrid (the Republic of Ireland’s transmission operator) with the System Operator Northern Ireland (SONI). This is very much in keeping with the EU principles of free trade across borders.

Brexit potentially poses a number of risks to Ireland’s energy sector, including security of supply, future investment into interconnectors, maintenance of emergency oil stocks, regional integration within the Internal Energy Market and of course most obviously, the future of the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland.

These challenges are compounded by the controversy around the issue of a hard vs soft border between North and South of Ireland. It is clear that the market is facing a degree of uncertainty, since final UK-EU Brexit arrangements are yet to be agreed.

Confusingly, although the ISEM now manages the market, the decision-making committee for it is called the SEM Committee. It is comprised of EirGrid and SONI. Hence the committee is jointly comprised of northern and southern regulators. Making the things extremely complicated.

Matthew Keane – Asset Manager