Energy prices to rise with no back up coal

Article posted

6th Jul 2023

Read time

2-4 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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Although the majority of the UK’s electricity now comes from renewable generation, it is always best to have a backup as these are not the most reliable form of energy generation. Last winter the UK was able to keep the energy market stable due to having four coal-fired generators if they were needed.

Last week the national grid confirmed that there is no way that they can keep any backup generators running this winter to help supplies further.

Although the market has been a lot more stable compared to last year, prices could still be pushed up by this lack of resources.

The ESO had been in talks with energy generators such as EDF and Drax to see if the coal-fired generators could be kept on any longer, however, these operators have said that this will not be possible for a further winter as they have already begun the decommissioning process for these power plants.

The lack of backup available to the ESO means they will have to alter their winter outlook to account for this loss in energy in the UK market.


What does this mean for consumers?      

Coal power plants are only used when they are needed, so if temperatures are mild this winter and there are no geopolitical issues, then the market could remain stable.

However, during winter higher demand and cold snaps are likely. This would push up the UK’s reliance on energy imports which will most likely increase prices across the market which could mean consumers who go to renew their energy contracts during winter could see a much higher offer than the current summer prices.

This means it would be best for businesses to look at renewing their prices as soon as possible rather than waiting until prices go up this winter.

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