World Cup fever grips the nation(al grid)
6th August 2018
Stay updated on energy market changes over the last 7 days with Haven Power’s market report.
Here’s a summary of the week starting 2nd June:
- Demand rise during England win caused UK system stress; pumped storage hydro to the rescue.
- Low wind output kept prompt prices inflated for another week.
- High gas and power demand on the continent provided support for UK prompt.
- Wider fuel commodities provided mixed direction for UK power curve.
Day-ahead prices averaged slightly higher than last week, at £55.90/MWh, as low levels of wind output continued.
Prices were at their lowest (£53.30/MWh) for baseload delivery on 2nd July, when wind output was at its highest for the week. As wind output fell over the following days, day-ahead prices increased to a high of £59.26/MWh for delivery on 4th July. Low wind forecasts had their usual bullish influence over prompt power prices. In continental Europe, high temperatures boosted air conditioning usage which increased demand for gas-fired generation, while lower levels of hydro put additional emphasis on gas.
Single imbalance prices during week 27 averaged £59.70/MWh. There were no periods of negative pricing, since these typically occur when National Grid pays wind generation plants to turn down their output. With a distinct lack of wind during the 7 days, this was unlikely to happen.
The week’s highest final price was £126.07/MWh, for settlement period 41 (20:00-20:30) on 7th July, when the UK system was over 500MWh short of generation. Forced to make up for this short-fall, National Grid called upon fast and flexible pumped storage hydro generation from Dinorwig, Crauchan, Ffestiniog and Foyers.
The lowest price over the week was £12.92/MWh for settlement period 14 (06:30-07:00) on 4th July, when the UK system had higher power supply than demand. Numerous generators paid National Grid to reduce their output and save on fuel costs. The system operator paid £50/MWh to one of the units at Drax power station to reduce output by over 90MWh during this settlement period.
Interestingly, National Grid reported a larger-than-expected demand pick-up of 1.2GW on July 3rd, during half time in England’s last 16 victory over Colombia in the World Cup. This peak caused an imbalance in the UK system, which National Grid addressed with additional action.The team, and the system operator, powered on through the penalty shoot-out – presumably while singing “Football’s coming ohm”.
Renewables and other
During week 27, output from wind and solar generation continued its recent trend. High pressure provided clear and calm conditions, allowing for high solar output and low wind generation.
Renewables made their most significant contribution – around 33% – to the UK fuel mix during the afternoon of 2nd July. As wind output then declined to around 1GW for the rest of the week, renewables only made up 20-25% of the generation mix; while gas-fired plant made up for the lack of wind.
Secure and Promote* (Seasons +1, +2, +3, +4) baseload contracts experienced slight gains across the board from the market opening on Monday through to its close on Friday.
The UK power curve followed the up and down movements in the fuels complex over the course of the week, with fuel commodities fluctuating day to day. Price movements during trading on Tuesday were initially bullish and Brent Crude oil and European coal showed increases, before losing value in the afternoon. Trading on Thursday was the inverse of Tuesday, with prices opening lower before following gains by the wider fuels complex during the afternoon. Baseload contracts ended the week with an average gain of £0.26/MWh.
*For more information about Secure and Promote, please consult this Ofgem web page.
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 18 and Summer 19.
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 Andrew Jarman, Haven Power’s Portfolio Analysts. To speak to them, or the rest of our Flex & Portfolio Management team’s analysts, call us on 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.