The Vayu Energy report found electricity and gas prices increased by 10% and 8%, respectively, over the last month in Ireland.
Gas prices in the UK increased due to the odourless gas incident at Corrib gas field recently. This alongside the strengthening of the sterling over the euro during the last month has had an impact on Irish gas prices.
Due to the increase in levels of maintenance and outages at gas fields and plants across Europe, wholesale energy prices have shot up substantially from this time last year. Wholesale gas prices have increased by 50% and wholesale electricity prices have increased, too, by 28% compared to September last year.
Vayu Senior Energy Analyst, Keith Donnelly, said that “the supply volatility caused by maintenance and unplanned outages in gas fields and plants in Norway was the main driver behind a 10% increase in gas prices from August to September. Irish customers were not only exposed to the increasing gas prices, a faltering euro against sterling added to price pressure in euro terms. September saw an increase in wind-generated power on the island of Ireland. However, the increase wasn’t enough to neutralise the impact of the rising cost of gas on the power market as prices there also rose by 10% when compared to last month.
“The Corrib gas field experienced its first unplanned outage since becoming operational in January 2016. Odourless gas from the field entered the Irish transmission system, causing an emergency shut down of production at the plant. The outage added some bullish sentiment to the UK market as demand increased at the UK to replace the gas lost due to shut down at Corrib.
Looking forward a number of issues at French nuclear power plants are threatening to cause havoc with energy markets again this year as gas prices rallied once news of a shutdown at the Tricastin plant was reported. Gas is being sourced to replace the power lost due to the closure of generating units at the plant. This, combined with the UK facing its first winter without the large gas storage facility, Rough, means that businesses should be prepared for a very volatile market in the coming months.”
The average day ahead price for gas is 1.76 c/kWh (cents per kilowatt hour) for September. The average price for September 2016 was 1.14 c/kWh. In euro terms, compared with the average monthly price for September from 2014 to 2016, Irish wholesale gas prices are 3% higher.
The average wholesale price of electricity in the Irish market in September is 4.63 c/kWh. The increase in price can be mainly put down to the rise on the gas market and strong levels of wind generation. As a percentage of total generation, wind has risen by over 25% compared to last month’s readings. Wind energy in September has been 27% of overall electricity generation in Ireland, 5% higher than the previous month.