UK coal-fired power generation jumped to the highest in a month, with wind generation slumping just as morning demand picked up.
Coal units run by Drax Group, Uniper and Electricite de France all started up this morning, bringing total coal-fired output to 1,493 megawatts, or about 3% of demand.
With natural gas costs still high and wind waning, peak power prices for Friday settled above 1,000 pounds a megawatt-hour in an auction Thursday, potentially boosting coal-fed production further.
“The U.K. may further rely on coal output over the near term amidst rising gas prices, making coal economically viable over the short term,” RBC Europe said in an emailed note.
RWE AG’s gas-fired plant in Pembroke, Wales, suffered an unplanned outage, reducing that fuel’s share of demand to 49% on Friday morning, while wind fell to 20%. Wind generation is forecast to rise near record levels next week.
Capacity cuts on two interconnectors linking Ireland and the UK mainland are limiting one source of potential imports. The Irish network operator has cited “system security reasons” for the restricted flows.
Imports to Britain from France are also limited, with a fire-damaged power cable linking the countries unlikely to be fully operational again until October 2023, according to National Grid.
French power prices for next month advanced as much as 3% to 246 euros a megawatt-hour, the highest level this week.
The benchmark German power contract for next year recovered from last week’s losses, climbing 11% this week to 131.95 euros.