Fire cuts British power imports adding to supply squeeze, soaring prices

Posted: September 16, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, flames, News


[credit: green lantern electric]

The ‘incident’ as they call it is likely to put the affected power link to France out of action for about four weeks [update: up to 6 months]. Is paying in excess of £450 per megawatt-hour of electricity sustainable? This is what can happen when fuel-burning power stations are closed and not replaced, as per political climate obsessions.

A fire halted a power link between France and Britain on Wednesday, squeezing tight UK electricity supply further and sending prices to near record highs, reports Reuters.

Day-ahead British power prices jumped almost 19% on the news, nearing record highs hit this week exacerbated by low wind supply and soaring gas prices. read more

National Grid said the fire prompted the evacuation of its IFA1 interconnector site in Sellindge in Kent.

“The fire at the IFA site essentially means the loss of 2 gigawatts (GW) of interconnection capacity between the UK and France which further tightens the supply situation in the UK,” said Roy Manuell, EU power and carbon analyst at ICIS Energy.

A spokesperson for National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) said Britain would have sufficient electricity supplies on Wednesday despite the incident.

“We currently have a sufficient buffer of spare capacity to operate the electricity system securely over this evening’s peak demand period,” he said in an email.

Wednesday’s almost 19% price jump took British day-ahead electricity prices to 475.00 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh), close to a record high of 540 pounds MWh hit this week.

Full report here.

Note – the report says: ‘National Grid said late on Wednesday the fire would mean 1 GW, or half of capacity, would remain offline until 27 March 2022.’

  1. We were barely missed by a Carrington level event (Coronal mass ejection or charged plasma burst from the sun) in 2012. Had it impacted us directly, it would knock out most of the electrical grid around the world, resulting in years without electrical energy save for a few hardened facilities and those who are otherwise protected from such an event on a smaller scale. It is my view that the best potential answer is a consideration for point of use power generation, and smaller, more easily replaced (and properly stored) power generation units.

  2. cognog2 says:

    I have placed a bet with myself; so bound to lose. I have just change my electrical tariff to a 2 year fixed price which has resulted in about a £30.00 increase in my direct debit payments. My energy supplier obviously knows something that I only suspect where energy prices are concerned.
    We shall see what happens in the next 2 years to my wallet; but if I win it will be a pyrrhic victory.

  3. Saighdear says:

    Meanwhile our Oh so reliable dependable wind is lagging behind some Solar and good old COAL is taking the strain 16:3:3, 5’s and we want more wind? I’ve got a pile of coal and tanks of oil, the Sun runs out at dusk, and as for the wind, Ask Don Q. … Think I knowwhere my Customers will be heading!

  4. Johna says:

    Which is why with our gas wells almost empty the UK Government and all the alleged opposition cohorts must see sense and bring back UK mined coal as part of a coherent energy mix to provide at least 60% of all grid network electricity. Coal via IGCC can also provide the gasses needed for industry and transports to keep the wheels rolling too – CH4 H2 and many other chemicals. If we then factor in CHP and integral electrification of localised transport systems (train/trams local EV’s etc) the system efficiency will be increased out of sight and city/town pollution dramatically reduced.
    Coal will also mean keeping our central heating and home cooking systems/devices intact with burning CH4/H2 – Town gas. NOx is also lower from this gas mix and almost zero with clean burning coal fuelled power boilers.
    With current far eastern tensions getting worse and the UK with insufficient means to defend itself we could also see a far more onerous situation arising if we don’t get rid of these Westminster buffoons and act collectively to get our country back on an even keel. But it needs to be done now as our foes are increasing their military capacity now.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Europe’s energy crisis goes from bad to worse as Dutch and U.K. natural gas prices see double-digit gains
    Published: Sept. 15, 2021

    European benchmark natural gas prices have soared 287% year to date, driven by a shortage of supplies from Russia, which is using more of its own natural gas; a lack of U.S. supply due to hurricanes disrupting refineries; a heat wave in the U.K. and elsewhere that has disrupted wind power; and hurricanes knocking out supplies from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
    – – –
    Coal has none of these problems. Message to national leaders: Hello?

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    Big trouble ahead for suppliers – far too many people on fixed tariffs to cope with this sort of disruption. Are they really expecting those on variable tariffs to take all the pain?

    These fools are inflicting vast damage now to avoid possible damage in fifty years time. Indescribably stupid.

  7. Johna says:

    Neither does coal cause climate change by releasing intrinsic CO2. And the latest scientific findings of Messrs van Wijngaarden and Happer should make this crystal clear to the scientists who still prop up the IPCC who feed the UN with incorrect data who in-turn control the political landscape of all or most Western governments – who’s politicians are too dumb and or corrupt to comprehend/hide the enormity of the folly they are enacting for the UN’s benefit. Namely; a New World Order which is categorically aimed at making the lives of the middle working and lower classes far worse. And to keep the developing nations in the squalor they’ve created – which makes a mockery of their so called levelling up of developing nations to gain parity with the West. Even worse is that most developing nations are siding with those nations who have their missile silos aimed at the West. All somewhat ironic to think as this has created a juxtaposed form neo colonialism – as its still iron ore coal et all for cars TV’s et al? Also factor in the strategic nature of LNG supplies and consider the vulnerability of guarding these tankers and liquefaction/regasification plants with an Army Air Force and Navy that’s a disgrace to our erstwhile standing and no longer fit for purpose. Uranium mining and shipments would also be significantly affected in War conditions.

  8. Gamecock says:

    Any cries of concern from the French? Or is this ‘interconnector’ really just one way?

  9. Curious George says:

    Of course it is one way. Direct current 🙂

  10. oldbrew says:

    “The fire at the IFA site essentially means the loss of 2 gigawatts (GW) of interconnection capacity between the UK and France which further tightens the supply situation in the UK,”
    – – –
    Latest seems to be that 1GW will still work but the other 1GW will be offline for six months.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Russia accused of rigging gas prices to undermine Britain’s economic recovery

    Russia has been accused of increasing gas prices in a bid to undermine Britain and the EU’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
    . . .
    On Monday, electricity prices in the UK surged to 11 times above normal levels – a record high caused by a crunch in the gas supply chain and a lack of wind to power turbines.
    – – –
    Don’t they have contracts? Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    “Gazprom delivers gas under consumer requests fully in line with contract obligations and aims to meet requests for extra deliveries whenever possible,” the company said in a statement.

  12. Saighdear says:

    what they’re telling me today, Saturday: UK to import CO2 ! in the morning bulletins – needed for refreshments, and PLANT (food) fertiliser, By Lunchtime changed to Stunning Animals for slaughter and something else. that’s what’s on the BBC? changing the angle as they good. Meantime ££££££££££s spent researching how to get RID OF CO2 underground, etc… the Hypocrisy once again
    and where’s the Wind power today …Zilch

  13. oldbrew says:

    Four more small energy firms could go bust next week
    By Simon Jack
    Business editor

    Published 12 minutes ago

    At the beginning of 2021 there were 70 energy suppliers in the UK. Industry sources say there may be as few as 10 left by the end of the year.

    It comes as the government is holding urgent talks with representatives from the energy industry amid growing concern about the spike in wholesale gas prices.
    – – –
    Chaos. They trash the coal and oil industries, then wonder why gas is in demand and prices are soaring.

  14. Johna says:

    Any responsible public spirited pro democratic Government would realise that CO2 does not cause climate change and the NUM/ trade Unions generally pose no threat to democratic rule. Faced with the current energy and economic crisis which can and will get inexorably worse, they should therefore revert to our erstwhile strategic mix of energy. Where at least 60% of the total energy needed to run the economy and provide food heat power drinking water sanitation for all its citizens is produced within our lands and territorial waters. Seeing that South North See coal reserves are vast and easily mined it can only be UK coal that can provide mass low cost energy as NP and Wind are both heavily subsidised by the taxpayer and reliant on foreign supplies of raw materials or wind – both of which are fraught with uncertainties, especially NG (AKA –LNG). CH4 H2 Oil and a multitude of chemicals can also extracted from coal and augment our NS reserves of high grade oil to provide specialised oils for making UK industry even more competitive. This is a true win win policy for the UK and will make a success of Brexit and make our people proud and happy again.

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