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 September report include:
- With the hottest recorded September day in a hundred years, unseasonably warm weather triggers a spike in demand for cooling.
- This, coinciding with a string of generator closures, causes capacity margins to drop dramatically, and drives a sharp increase in uplift and profits.
- Amid fears of a capacity shortfall of almost 1GW, prices in the day-ahead power market rise to £160/MWh, followed by the half-hourly auction reaching an unprecedented £999/MWh.
- Coal plants come online to take advantage of the high prices, achieving average gross margins of £26/MWh – their highest since March 2013 – and more than doubling their load factor and output since last month.
- With scarcity driving the price increase, wind capture prices make a healthy recovery from the summer lows, but maintain a steady gap relative to baseload prices of over £4/MWh.
- As coal plant production increases, we see a corresponding rise in GB power carbon intensity since last month, although the decrease since this time last year remains fairly consistent at around 30%.