Energy industry organisations have delivered a varied verdict on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit, following a key speech on 17 January.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has stated that the UK must take advantage of the “huge industrial opportunity” for trade and growth offered by the low-carbon transition. Chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “The UK has the opportunity to lead the way in areas such as energy storage, electric vehicles and bioenergy, all of which are sectors in which we have real expertise and have the potential to export globally. The industry needs clarity on the long-term vision and government ambition in these areas.”

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said trade with European countries had enabled access to various sources of electricity that contribute to the UK’s security of supply. He said: “It is therefore essential that we continue to have a relationship that allows the efficient flow of electricity and gas across borders. Brexit presents an opportunity for a bold and ambitious plan for energy with the UK showing global leadership in meeting climate change targets, with more jobs, investment and environmental benefits.”

Nevertheless, green groups greeted the plans with suspicion. Greenpeace UK’s Rosie Rogers said: “Whatever position people take on Brexit, it’s a fact that leaving the single market would undermine vital environmental and consumer protections we now take for granted.”

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