Thursday 23 January 2020

Wholesale gas prices up 47pc, electricity 26pc

Shawn Pogatchnik

ENERGY analysts say wholesale gas prices rose by 47pc last month and electricity by 26pc as power use increased following an unusually mild October.

Two reports published today by Bord Gáis Energy and business energy provider Naturgy say wholesale prices are much lower than a year ago, driven by near-capacity stockpiles of gas.

But they highlighted a variety of factors that drove up next-day delivery prices to wholesale distributors of energy.

November winds were relatively mild in Ireland, reducing generation from wind turbines by 7pc. This in turn reduced wind power's contribution to the electricity grid from 36pc in October to 31pc last month.

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Average oil prices rose by 5pc during the month, driven in part by Saudi Arabia's intention to support prices ahead of its planned initial public offering of Saudi Aramco.

Naturgy analyst Lauren Stewart said natural gas supplies "look robust as 13 cargoes of LNG (liquefied natural gas) are expected to arrive into Europe during the first two weeks of December. Gas storage levels in Europe are almost 100pc full, while the recent glut of LNG cargoes shows no sign of slowing down".

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