Q1 2017: Capacity and production statistics

Download PDF

by Dr Iain Staffell – Imperial College London 

Following their problems last quarter, the French interconnector and nuclear fleet returned to normal, so imports gradually rose over February and hit an 12-month high in March averaging 2.9 GW (1.8 GW of which from France).

Coal fell from 16% to 6% of the supply mix over February as imports rose and demand fell.

Coal output is down nearly 30%; not because plants are seeing lower utilisation, rather because three tenths of the fleet have retired in the last year. In their place, 3.2 GW of new renewables came online in the past year, predominantly solar power.

Power prices settled down from the volatility of previous quarters, suggesting the market was not so tight. They averaged £47/MWh and ranged from –£14 to £293 over the quarter1.

Britain’s electricity supply mix in the first quarter of 2017:

Installed capacity and electricity produced by each technology:

Authors: Dr Iain StaffellProfessor Richard GreenDr Rob Gross and Professor Tim Green

  1. Day-ahead prices averaged £47/MWh also, and ranged from £5 to £148. 
  2. In absolute percentage points. 
  3. See the methodology note in last quarter’s issue for how wind capacity factors are adjusted, as the output data from National Grid and Elexon may not cover the entire fleet. The raw data from National Grid and Elexon suggests that the capacity factor for wind was 34.7% over Q1 2017, versus 28.3% over Q1 2016. 
  4. In previous quarters, pumped hydro storage was included with run-of-river hydro. 

Live Grid Data