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|Title||Energy implications of Brexit|
|Authors||Energy Institute Knowledge Service team|
The UK is far from self-sufficient in energy because, despite the increase in production of energy from renewables, the decline in the production of indigenous oil and gas has required an increase in imports. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) in August 2016 published relevant statistics: UK energy: how much, what type and where from?
Despite the shortfall, the UK still exports some oil, gas and electricity, but halting those exports, even if possible, would not make up the deficit.
Supply and demand of gas in the UK
Source: Simplified table from Energy Trends March 2017
Provisional figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (Energy Trends March 2017 table 4.3) show that in 2016 the UK:
Imports from Belgium increased from 2 to nearly 5.5 thousand GWh, helping to counteract the sharp drop of imports of LNG from Qatar caused by strong demand from Asia.
LNG accounted for 121,952 GWh of the total gas imported into the UK, mainly from Qatar, but the UK also exported 5,511 GWh to various places such as Brazil, Pakistan, Trinidad, UAE and USA.
Countries exporting gas to the UK also export gas elsewhere, as shown below:
Gas Exports in Million Cubic Meters(MCM) 2015
Natural gas information 2016 - with 2015 data. IEA, 2016. Table 26.
Notes - no figures for Ireland were recorded by the IEA for 2015; Norway exports gas to countries all around the world
According to the IEA figures, in 2015:
Countries who import gas from the UK also import from elsewhere-see below:
According to provisional figures published in Energy Trends Section 3, BEIS, March 2017, in 2016 the United Kingdom:
The UK was therefore a net importer of +24,730 thousand tonnes of crude oil.
According to the IEA, in 2015, only 2% of UK crude oil was imported from EU countries; 50% came from Norway, 16% from Algeria, 12% from Nigeria, and the rest from other Non-EU Countries. (Oil Information 2016- with 2015 data. Table 8a IEA 2016)
The EU (90%), specifically the Netherlands (39%), Germany (28%), France (10%) and Spain (8%) are the top export destinations for UK oil. (% from Oil Information 2016- with 2015 data. Table 9 IEA 2016)
3% of the oil that France imported came from the UK; this figure was 11% for Germany; 8% for the Netherlands and 3% for Spain.
EI members can see a more detailed breakdown of figures on our datasheet Trade: UK crude oil exports (DSS08)
The UK imports and exports electricity, to and from France, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Total net imports of electricity into the UK in 2016 were 17.5 TWh, down 16.2 per cent compared to 2015.
The UK has remained a net importer since Q2 2010.
Total net imports in Q4 2016 were 1.5 TWh, the lowest amount since Q4 2011.
Ref: Energy Trends Section 5 Electricity BEIS, March 2017
A 2017 study commissioned by Oil and Gas UK, the trade association representing the UK offshore oil and gas industry, concluded that reverting to WTO trade rules could almost double the costs of trade between the UK and other EU countries from currently around £600 million per annum to around £1.1 billion per annum.
EU nationals in the energy workforce
Energy Institute Brexit consultations
Views of energy professionals on Brexit impacts, best levels for energy policy decisions, EI Energy Barometer, June 2016
Energy and Climate Change Committee inquiry – Leaving the EU: implications for UK energy policy, Energy Institute response, October 2016
How much of UK energy policy is shaped by EU policies?
What will Brexit mean for the environment and Britain's green targets? Emily Gosden, The Telegraph, 10 March 2017.
Brexit: Energy Policy. Scottish Parliament Information Centre, 16 November 2016.
Brexit implications for UK climate policy
Meeting Carbon Budgets – Implications of Brexit for UK climate policy, Briefing note, Committee on Climate Change, October 2016
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