UK electricity prices hit record high amid cold spell and lack of wind power | Weather United Kingdom
Electricity prices in the UK hit record highs as a bitter cold spell and a drop in wind-generated electricity supplies combined to drive up wholesale costs.
The daily price of electricity for Monday delivery hit a record £675 per megawatt hour on the Epex Spot SE exchange. The price of electricity between 5pm and 6pm, usually at the time of peak electricity demand each day, rose to a record high of £2,586 per megawatt hour.
Prices are rising as the weather forces Britons to increase their heating consumption, driving up demand for energy, despite high bills.
Snow and ice have caused disruption as cold weather is expected to continue this week, with snow forecast for parts of eastern and south-eastern England, as well as Scotland.
The cold spell, which is expected to last at least a week, comes as wind speeds have dropped sharply, hitting electricity providers.
Live data from the national grid electricity system operator showed wind power provided just 3% of Britain’s electricity output on Sunday. Gas-fired power plants provided 59%, while nuclear power and electricity imports both accounted for about 15%.
The increase in electricity prices comes amid concerns about energy supplies this winter. National Grid warned in October that a combination of factors including a cold snap and a gas shortage in Europe linked to the war in Ukraine could lead to power cuts in the UK.
The expected increase in electricity demand on Monday evening will coincide with an expected use of the national grid’s demand flexibility service between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The program compensates businesses and households to reduce their consumption during peak hours in order to reduce the pressure on the network.
The system has been used several times in a series of tests, but has yet to be used due to power shortages. National Grid flirted with using it in those circumstances last month, but didn’t.
Doctor Agostinho Moreira de Sousa, a consultant in public health medicine at the UK Health Security Agency, encouraged people with health conditions to heat their homes to a comfortable temperature. “In rooms you use the most, like the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18°C if you can. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Wearing layers of clothing will keep you warmer. warmer than one layer thicker,” he said.
German overnight power prices rose 33% to €434 (£373) a megawatt hour, the highest since September 13, while the French contract rose 40% to €465 a megawatt hour, a reported Bloomberg.