UK power market

European gas for coal switching boundaries in 2017 | 05 Jun, 2017

The switching of gas for coal fired power plants was one of the key themes in European energy markets in 2016.  Switching drove a 20 bcma recovery in ...

UK peaker investment: here comes consolidation | 29 May, 2017

Competition to provide new capacity across the UK’s first three capacity auctions has been dominated by thousands of small peaking units. In contras ...

How higher coal prices support gas hub prices | 03 Apr, 2017

European gas demand fell by approximately 20% over the first five years of this decade.  But 2016 marked a turning point, with demand (including Turk ...

Power sector switching, gas hub prices & volatility | 20 Mar, 2017

In early 2016, the idea of a significant recovery in CCGT load factors at the expense of coal plants was treated with a degree of scepticism. CCGT loa ...

UK power: will next winter be a repeat of this one? | 13 Feb, 2017

The UK power market entered this winter with the tightest system reserve margin since market liberalisation in the 1990s. The reserve margin has falle ...

Interconnector value & the cross-channel tug of war | 06 Feb, 2017

It has been an explosive winter in North West European power markets.  Elevated prices, spikes and volatility have suddenly returned, in stark contra ...

UK capacity market surprises again | 09 Jan, 2017

The UK capacity market continues to deliver surprises.  Large scale CCGT plants were expected to provide most of the new capacity in the third T-4 au ...

The UK’s battle for new capacity: peakers vs CCGTs | 31 Oct, 2016

An aggressive government capacity target in the Dec 2016 UK capacity auction is fuelling an intense battle to deliver new power plants.  As much as 5 ...

The impact of rising coal prices | 17 Oct, 2016

2016 has delivered its fair share of commodity market surprises. But none have been more unexpected than the sharp recovery in coal prices.  European ...

Brexit impact on European energy markets | 04 Jul, 2016

The Brexit ‘Leave’ vote was a genuine market shock.  On the day of the referendum, markets were pricing in a more than 80% chance that the ‘Rem ...

European utility asset sales are ramping up | 20 Jun, 2016

European utilities have taken a battering so far this decade. Most utilities are suffering balance sheet hangovers from a pre financial crisis spate o ...

Has the 2016 commodity price recovery got legs? | 13 Jun, 2016

Crude oil has doubled in price since February.  The rally in oil has coincided with a broader recovery in global commodity prices including coal.  H ...

Gas vs coal switching in Europe: key markets | 30 May, 2016

The displacement of coal plant by gas plant is one of the key current focus issues in the European energy industry.  A sharp decline in coal prices f ...

A revival in contracting of flexible assets | 21 Mar, 2016

Long term contracts are a cornerstone of the energy industry. They play a key role in underpinning the capital expenditure required to develop assets. ...

Fixing the UK’s broken capacity market? | 14 Mar, 2016

What do you do if you design a capacity market that doesn’t work? Try, try again. The imminent threat of large volumes of coal plant closures has se ...

Underestimating small scale peakers | 22 Feb, 2016

The UK government has issued fresh denials of an imminent capacity crunch this month.  This has been prompted by closure announcements for another 2. ...

Dark spreads spell the death of UK coal plants | 08 Feb, 2016

Falling gas prices over the last year have decimated UK coal plant generation margins. In the UK, coal plants are hostage to CCGTs when it comes to se ...

Last week’s UK power price spike | 09 Nov, 2015

The tightening UK system capacity margin has been a theme of this blog over the last 4 years. This manifested itself last Wednesday in a period of mag ...

The UK CCGT new build challenge | 19 Oct, 2015

Carlton Power was the only bidder in the UK's first power market capacity auction that secured a capacity agreement to build a new CCGT (in Dec 2014). ...

UK spark and dark spreads in animation | 07 Sep, 2015

The evolution of generation margins for gas and coal fired power plants are having wide reaching implications across European gas and power markets th ...

Gas volatility & investment in deliverability | 20 Jul, 2015

The article below is our last before the summer break.  We will be back with more in late August. There are two key structural trends in play that ...

European gas demand, LNG flow & hub prices | 13 Jul, 2015

Last week we explored the impact of weaker Chinese LNG demand on European hub prices. We set out a scenario that illustrated the impact of European hu ...

Electricity storage investment: path to commercialisation | 29 Jun, 2015

Battery storage technology costs have been declining at an impressive rate over the last 2 to 3 years. Interest in the investment growth potential for ...

Gas plant competiveness is increasing | 04 May, 2015

Over the last five years, European coal plants have developed a substantial variable cost advantage over gas plants. This has been driven by relative ...

The tipping point in the gas market | 13 Apr, 2015

The global gas market balance has swung from Asia back towards Europe as oversupply in the LNG market has taken hold. European hubs are providing key ...