News / Weekly Energy Report - Strongest week for solar generation this year

Weekly Energy Report - Strongest week for solar generation this year

21st May 2019

Stay in touch with week-by-week changes in the energy market: read the Haven Power market report. Here’s our analysis of the past 7 days, starting Monday 13th May:

  • Strongest week for solar generation so far this year
  • Secure and promote baseload contracts gained £0.44/MWh
  • Mild temperatures pressured the day ahead prices
  • Cruachan power station was called in to increase generation

Read more below:

Prompt/Day-ahead Power

Day-ahead baseload power prices averaged £41.25/MWh during week 20, down £3.04/MWh from week 19. This made it the year’s second lowest week for Day-ahead baseload power.

Monday 13 May saw the week’s highest price for day-ahead baseload power. While national demand was expected to outturn at an average of 33GW, it actually outturned at 30.5GW. With this extra 2.5GW of demand expected and wind forecasts predicting an average of 2.7GW of generation, the Day-ahead price was lifted to £44.77/MWh.

The lowest price for day-ahead baseload power was £39.24/MWh on Sunday 19 May. With the mild temperatures seen throughout the week set to continue, the usual drop in national demand seen on Sundays was set to be even larger than usual. The average temperature of 13.3° Celsius helped to push down demand to an average of 26.7GW, reducing the system’s reliance on expensive means of generation.

2019-05-20 pricingreportgraphs1

Imbalance Prices

Settlement period 41 (20:00 – 20:30) on Monday 13 May saw the highest imbalance price of £93/MWh. With wind generation averaging 2GW throughout the day, the grid was relying heavily on solar generation. In the hours leading to this settlement period, national demand was falling. However, as solar generation was decreasing more rapidly, the grid was left short. The final price was set by accepted offers from Cruachan power station to increase generation through the use of its pumped storage hydro generators.

Settlement period 43 (21:00 – 21:30) on Friday 17 May saw the week’s lowest imbalance price of £1.86/MWh. In this period, the grid was well supplied, with wind averaging 5.1GW throughout the day (2GW above the weekly average). National demand was also falling, boosted by mild temperatures – averaging 13.2°C – and these factors helped to set the final price.

2019-05-20 pricingreportgraphs3

Renewables and other

The UK saw high levels of renewable generation during week 20, with solar having its strongest week so far this year.

Solar generation peaked at 9.2GW on Tuesday 14 May, enough electricity to meet 25.5% of the UK’s demand at the time (14:00). It had a very successful week, hitting over 7GW from Monday to Thursday; from Friday to Sunday it achieved above the normal level for this time of year: 3GW. Wind generation was less impressive, averaging 3GW for the whole week, with only one standout day: Thursday 16 May. At 22:00 that evening, it peaked at 8.5GW – 26.2% of the generation stack.

Wind and solar peaked at 14:00 on Thursday 16 May, when they combined to produce 14.6GW – enough to cover 39.7% of national demand.

2019-05-20 pricingreportgraphs4

Seasonal Contracts

Secure and promote* (Seasons +1, +2, +3, +4) baseload contracts gained on average £0.44/MWh during week 20.

Although the week started with prices down compared to Friday’s close, strong trading on Brent Crude oil (opening at $70.62/bbl; reaching $72.09/bbl on Monday afternoon) forced a move upwards. Curve products continued to gain value on Tuesday 14 May. In the afternoon, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Rotterdam coal front year was up by $1 on its opening price and the Dec-19 carbon benchmark followed a similar trend, with a €0.68 gain. Wednesday 15 May saw firmly-priced fuels continue to lift the curve products, with weakness in the National Balancing Point NBP gas curve standing alone to cap the day’s gains.

The sessions on Thursday 16 May saw the NBP gas curve, European coal forwards, and coal prices all display weakness throughout the day, forcing many curve products lower. This continued into Friday 17 May, as weakness in the wider energy complex drove down the UK wholesale power market.

2019-05-20 pricingreportgraphs2

*For more information about Secure and Promote, please consult this Ofgem web page.

Annual Power

The annual power graph shows how the value of an annual power contract changes over time. The annual contract value is the average of the front two seasons, currently winter 19 and summer 20.

2019-05-20 annual-prices

To help you make sense of the industry, you can also use our jargon buster and handy guide to Third Party Costs (currently 60% of your bill). And for interesting articles and useful insights, look out for our blog.

Report written by Thomas Stebbings and Ben Symonds, Haven Power’s Portfolio Analysts. To speak to them, or the rest of our Flex & Portfolio Management team’s analysts, call 01473 707755 quoting reference HP250.


Although we’ve made all reasonable effort to verify the information in this report and provide the highest possible accuracy, Haven Power Limited gives no warranty - express or implied - in respect of this information. Furthermore, our provision of this report does not constitute advice of any kind and readers should not take it as the basis for any commercial or financial decisions. You should make any such decision based on your own records, knowledge and perception of power market data, supplemented with appropriate independent expert advice when required.

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