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UK renewable boom plunges electricity prices

UK wholesale electricity prices dropped sharply in the first quarter due to record-high renewable energy production, according to a report

Wholesale electricity prices in the UK fell sharply in the first quarter of 2024 due to a significant increase in renewable energy production, as reported by Montel EnAppSys.

The average prices dropped by 22% compared to the previous quarter, with EPEX auction and Nordpool recording average day-ahead prices of £64.57/MWh and £64.45/MWh, respectively.

Renewable energy production reached a historic high of 35.40TWh, comprising almost half (47%) of Britain’s fuel mix for the quarter, according to the report.

Wind power was the leading contributor at 25.2TWh, followed by biomass (6.7TWh), solar (1.9TWh) and hydro (1.6TWh), putting significant downward pressure on electricity prices.

This increase in renewable energy had a notable impact on the utilisation of Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plants, which decreased to 21.8TWh from 23.5TWh in Q1 2023.

Additionally, outages in Britain’s nuclear fleet reduced nuclear power generation from 9.6TWh to 7.9TWh compared to the same period last year.

Imports into the UK surged by 75%, contributing 9.1TWh, with France being the primary supplier at 4.8TWh.

Declining gas prices throughout the quarter further contributed to the decline in electricity prices.

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