The UK’s reliance on electricity imports has climbed to a record high amid fears that homes and businesses could face higher energy bills if the UK crashes out of Europe. The latest government figures, released just weeks before Britain’s exit from the EU, show that the UK’s net electricity imports reached their highest ever level in the first quarter of this year. The four high-voltage power cables linking the UK to Europe’s energy markets imported a sixth more electricity than the year before, after a new interconnector opened in January. In total, European electricity imports made up almost 7% of the UK’s total demand, and the government hopes to increase imports to about 20% by 2025. Although this is a small share of the UK’s electricity, experts have warned that higher import prices could lead to higher energy bills. The government’s leaked no-deal planning report, Operation Yellowhammer, predicted a marked increase in energy prices for homes and businesses if the UK crashes out without a deal. The market price for electricity could climb because of a fall in the value of the pound against the euro, but also because of potentially costly complications of severing ties with EU energy markets. The Guardian understands that a pan-European network of energy system operators has agreed a plan for the UK to remain within the internal market on a voluntary basis which would offer the same commercial terms. A spokesman for National Grid, which runs the UK’s power cables, said it was “not anticipating any additional charges for interconnectors in the event of a no-deal Brexit”. However, the plan has not been agreed by the European commission and could be cast in doubt if the UK leaves without an agreement or without paying the £39bn exit fee. Alexander Temerko, a major Conservative party donor, said he feared electricity market prices could jump by almost a third if the UK does not remain part of the EU’s internal energy market after a no-deal Brexit.
Guardian 1st Sept 2019 read more »
The amount of energy generated from coal sources in the UK has fallen to a record-low output of 0.7% – a 63% decline on the same period the year prior – with low-carbon making up more than half of the UK’s energy mix.
Edie 30th Aug 2019 read more »