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:
- As the UK experiences the (joint) 5th warmest March since records began in 1910, demand is again unusually low.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- With the French interconnector fully back in operation, the UK imports power from France for all but 20 half hours this month.
- 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.