Cold snap forces UK electricity market prices to hit new highs | Business

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Falling temperatures and declining wind power production have pushed UK electricity market prices to a new high and prompted the National Grid to urgently call on suppliers to provide additional capacity .
The National Grid control room warned its electricity supplies would be “tight” this week, and on Tuesday issued an official call for the generators to advance an additional 524 megawatts of electrical capacity within 24 hours.

Electricity market prices increased tenfold in one day to a new record high of £ 1,000 per megawatt hour as colder-than-normal temperatures and lower power generation hampered the Great Britain’s power supply. Brittany.

The cold snap is expected to drive energy demand to its highest level this winter, while wind turbines will virtually shut down just weeks after setting a next-generation record. The combination of high demand and low wind speeds has emerged as supplies to many traditional power plants remain out of service, causing electricity prices to skyrocket in the wholesale market.

The power grid operator, a branch of National Grid, said that while a warning might “sound pretty serious”, it is “a routine way” of encouraging generators to generate more electricity, and not does not mean that the electricity supply is “at risk”. .

The National Grid control center issued an avalanche of informal and official warnings this winter, that it expected to be one of the harshest winters for the electricity supply in the past four years. There were two official warnings on consecutive days in November and another in December.

Hartree Solutions, a commodities trading firm, said the UK “faces a much greater risk of blackouts this winter than the National Grid anticipated”, which is reflected in market prices.

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The wholesale price of electricity to meet Wednesday’s peak demand, which will be within the hour from 4 p.m., has climbed to £ 1,000 per megawatt on one of the largest auction platforms of electricity from the UK, the highest price since auction began in 2014 and 10 times the price for the same time on Tuesday.

Hartree said the reduced electricity supply margins mean National Grid’s control room “will have to issue alerts, warnings and use a lot – if not all – of their balancing tools on Wednesday to keep the lights on. “.

The official warning from the power grid operator said: “In the short term, we would like a greater safety cushion (margin) between electricity demand and available supply. This does not mean that blackouts are imminent or that there is not enough production to meet current demand. ”

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