Imbalance prices rise for sixth consecutive month

This week we delve into system imbalance pricing, and look at the latest movements from the Balancing Market (BM). The BM ultimately reflects the actions taken by the transmission system operator to keep the system balanced. These actions determine the Imbalance Settlement Price (ISP) for each of the half-hourly settlement periods across the day.

The ISP has observed month-on-month growth over the past six months, when looking at the monthly averages. As of 28 September, this has seen the ISP peak at a ten month high of €42.5/MWh throughout September. This has been driven by factors such as, periods of system undersupply, higher than anticipated demand or unplanned outages at power stations.

Despite the steady rise in the ISP, this year has seen fewer instances where the ISP has risen above €100/MWh. This year has seen such events occur in 651 settlement periods, down from 1,379 for the same nine-month period last year. Instead, this year has seen a rise in the number of negative pricing events. These have totalled 925 to date, a 40.0% increase year-on-year. This has been driven by the increased levels of wind installed on the system, which has supported greater periods of system oversupply, notably during storms or periods of strong wind speeds.

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