UK power for this weekend spikes to ten-year high at wholesale market

02 March 2018

UK power for delivery over the weekend was trading at a ten-year high early on Friday, driven by the cost of firing up gas-fuelled power plants to meet demand amid very high UK gas prices.

ICIS assessed the UK power Weekend Baseload product at £80.00/MWh at Thursday’s close of the wholesale electricity market. This was roughly double the average power price for a weekend seen throughout 2017.

The highest single Weekend transaction seen on Thursday was for £81.00/MWh.

In early trade on Friday the same product had softened marginally to change hands at £77.00/MWh, but this remained comfortably the highest Weekend Baseload price since sharp price spikes were seen way back in 2008.

“The UK’s power generation system is capable of meeting demand with a mix of gas, coal, renewables and nuclear all producing power,” said ICIS power markets editor Jamie Stewart. “But this is coming at a very high price. This is because the wholesale cost of buying gas to fuel gas-fired power plants has been pushed to multi-year highs due to extreme demand and supply-side outages.”

Gas plants have occupied a marginal position in the UK power mix throughout the cold snap, meaning they have been ramping up and down to meet peaks and troughs in demand.

This is because high gas prices meant gas plants became more expensive to run than coal-fired plants. So while virtually all coal plants available to the power system have been running, gas plants have remained marginal.

The UK has seen vast amounts of wind power since the arrival of Storm Emma, which has supported the overall power system and kept supply margins well in check.

But wind power output is expected to fall back over the weekend, which will pull more expensive gas plants into the mix, and power prices have been forced higher to compensate.

Media contact

Jamie Stewart
Editor – European Daily Electricity Markets
jamie.stewart@icis.com
Mobile: +44 7522 216 632
Tel: +44 20 7911 1933

About ICIS ICIS

ICIS is the world’s largest petrochemical market information provider, with divisions spanning energy and fertilizers. Our aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering valuable information and analytics tools which enable our customers to identify and react to opportunities in markets which are constantly evolving. We have more than 30 years’ of experience in providing pricing intelligence and news, forecast data, market analytics and independent consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.

With a global staff of more than 600, ICIS has employees based in London, Houston, New York, Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Mumbai, Tokyo, Karlsruhe, and Milan. ICIS’ team of journalists is engaged in reporting market prices and news, and ICIS is fully committed to upholding the highest journalistic principles of verification, corroboration and authentication. ICIS has a compliance framework that along with its methodologies and business processes adheres to the requirements of the IOSCO PRA Principles.

ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information, part of RELX Group.

About Reed Business Information RELX Group

Reed Business Information provides information, analytics and data to business professionals worldwide. Our strong global products and services hold market-leading positions across a wide range of industry sectors including banking, petrochemicals and aviation, where we help customers make key strategic decisions every day. RBI is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional customers across industries. http://www.reedbusiness.com

About RELX Group RELX Group

RELX Group is a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs approximately 30,000 people of whom almost half are in North America. RELX PLC is a London listed holding company which owns 52.9% of RELX Group. RELX NV is an Amsterdam listed holding company which owns 47.1% of RELX Group. The shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX and RENX. Total market capitalisation is approximately £29.5bn|€33.2bn|$40.5bn. www.relx.com

ICIS News

European Daily Electricity Markets

Your go-to source of pricing information and market intelligence for the European power sector

  • Manage risk, settle contracts and understand the price trends
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest market developments
  • Calculate profitability and manage your risk by using our analytical tools
  • Plan your strategy with OTC prices, forward curves and indices
  • Stay ahead of competition with specialised ICIS briefings
Find out more

European Spot Gas Markets

The benchmark report for European natural gas

  • Establish a direct spot price reference
  • Understand developments in key natural gas hubs
  • Identify opportunities and analyse risks
  • Gain clarity on price movements
  • Make accurate price comparisons
Find out more

You may also be interested in...

Weak UK Policy on Renewable Heat Targets Keeps Gas Demand Buoyant. Read more »

European Natural Gas Outlook Read more »

European Power Outlook 2018 Read more »

Blockchain’s Impact on Energy Trading Read more »

Benchmark your position in European natural gas with ICIS indices and assessments

ICIS gas benchmark prices

Heren proprietary indices and assessments are the industry standard for European gas. Independently assessed and verified, directly from the market, these prices provide a reliable benchmark for the main gas hubs.

The British NBP and Dutch TTF natural gas prices, produced by ICIS, are referenced throughout the world and are the gas industry’s main reference for the European continent as a whole.

Our daily indices and assessments are designed to increase pricing transparency, enabling you to make accurate, timely decisions when buying and selling European natural gas.

Learn about ICIS News 

Energy

Price assessments, indices, news and analysis for the oil, gas, liquefied natural gas, carbon and coal sectors.