2023’s opening quarter saw an end to the UK’s previous nine months as a net exporter of power, energy data analysts EnAppSys have revealed.

The three months before April saw imports into Britain of 7.25TWh of power from Norway and France, meeting 9.7% of the nation’s power needs, according to the analysts.

At 45.1%, wind, hydro, solar and biomass combined to make renewables the nation’s biggest single class of electricity over the quarter.

Wind led the low-carbon contribution, producing 24TWh. Of the rest, gas-fuelled turbines accounted for 35.5%, followed by 12.4 from the nations ageing nuclear stations.  Their contribution, at 9.21TWh, saw the sector drop below 10% of national share for the first time.

Coal’s 1.2% came from two reprieved stations.  Overall, thermal generation including nuclear produced a smaller share of Britain’s power combination than for any first quarter, according to EnAppSys.

A wet winter in the Highlands and west pushed hydro generation, at 1.84TWh, to levels on par with or slightly higher than 2022 and 2021.

Paul Verrill, EnAppSys director, put the import-export return down to last year’s extreme market conditions.

“With the generally mild weather keeping conventional generation in GB relatively low in Q1, levels of gas storage were high, both in GB and the rest of Europe. NBP gas prices declined across the quarter, dropping from £59/MWh at the beginning of January to £39/MWh by the end of March,” He  added.

“The average gas price over the quarter was £46/MWh, the lowest for any quarter since Q2 2022 – which itself had been notably low given the prevailing market conditions reflecting intervals of excess gas supply during periods of low electricity demand and high wind.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here