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Supply pressure propels UK prompt power prices to three-month high

London — * Wind generation to plummet by 75% to less than 2 GW
* Electricity from solar farms to nearly halve on Wed

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UK spot power prices soared to a three-month high on Tuesday as a sharp drop in wind and solar power generation increased system demand, tightening surplus margins, sources said.

Baseload power for Wednesday delivery scaled higher to GBP48/MWh before the 11 am London market close, rising GBP8.25 on the day, while the peakload counterpart gained GBP14.25 to close at GBP54/MWh.

Both the base and peak contracts Tuesday were the highest since mid-February when they were assessed at GBP49.50/MWh and GBP54.75/MWh respectively, S&P Global Platts pricing data showed.



"There is no wind and no solar [predicted for the UK]," which have lifted the prompt prices, a trader said.

According to the National Grid, peak wind power supplies are expected to sink to 1.8 GW Wednesday, down from 7.2 GW Tuesday, while Wednesday's solar output is likely to almost halve to 1.6 GW, down from Tuesday's peak of nearly 3 GW.

Forecasts for falling renewables output further pressured the UK power system which was marginally under strain following the reduction of electricity imports from the Netherlands since Monday morning.

Surplus margins on Wednesday are expected to plummet to less than 6 GW, compared with Tuesday's supply margins just shy of 11 GW, National Grid said.

Peak power demand from the transmission system is set to jump to 39 GW for Wednesday, grid estimates showed, rising from Tuesday's peak of 35 GW.

Capacity from the 1 GW BritNed interconnector will remain at zero until late Wednesday due to annual planned maintenance works. At midday Tuesday, no Dutch imports were seen flowing into the UK, grid data showed.

Further on the supply side, wind output remained strong at above 5 GW at midday Tuesday, reducing the need for gas-fired power output, which fell to 13.8 GW, data showed.

Coal-fired power generation rose to 643 MW, while nuclear output was stable at 7.2 GW. French imports were also steady at almost 2 GW.