GB System Performance Report – March 2017

Aurora’s System performance report provides a monthly snapshot of key operating characteristics for the GB power system. Which fuels are most used? Which power plants most profitable? How would a change in the price of gas or coal impact the system price through the dispatch?

Highlights of our March report include:

  1. As the UK experiences the (joint) 5th warmest March since records began in 1910, demand is again unusually low.
  2. The spot price this March, although higher than this time last year, is below average for the last 12 months. Despite having a higher peak than February at £143.8/MWh, the monthly average is over £5/MWh lower.
  3. Due to low demand for gas in heating, the gas price continued to fall. As a result, despite falling demand for power, CCGTs increased output by over 1TWh, and enjoyed a slight rise in gross margins.
  4. As coal output drops by over 2TWh, the proportion of coal in the system fuel mix is down to its lowest level since September, bringing down the system carbon intensity accordingly.
  5. With the French interconnector fully back in operation, the UK imports power from France for all but 20 half hours this month.
  6. Although wind production has declined since February, utilisation is still high for this time of year, contributing 2.5TWh to supply and further reducing the power price.
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