New: Benchmark Power Curve service launched

Cornwall Insight has recently launched its new Benchmark Power Curve (CI BPC) service to complement its already deep set of wholesale research subscription services.

The CI BPC is a comprehensive market and asset-level power price modelling service that delivers long-term price forecasts, informed by industry-leading regulatory, market and policy expertise, and supplemented with direct access to trusted practitioners.

Focusing on scenario-based 20-year projections of electricity prices in Great Britain (GB), coverage includes baseload and peak prices presented in real values of the day and at quarterly granularity.

With the rapid and ever-changing landscape of the market, the scenarios are not mere snap-shots based on the current market structure, but capture this developing nature with greater renewables, flexibility, interconnection with European markets and growth of electric vehicles (EVs).

The CI BPC is designed with a range of market participants in mind from lenders, equity investors, developers, operators, traders and financial advisors engaged with the power market in GB. It has also been developed with a technology agnostic approach, with price curves for different technologies (including offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, CCGT and others), fully reflecting price and value-capture based on the different operating and load profiles of various types of power assets.

The report will also show the effect of location on the behaviour of small-scale capacity in the distribution networks. With the modelling integrating balancing market, capacity market, gas, coal, and carbon forecasts.

The service is presented quarterly with a summary report, accompanying a detailed results workbook. Subscribers will also be able to take part in a user group forum discussing the issues and helping to frame future updates.

One notable output from the first set of results concerns the ability and process for GB to meet its current carbon budgets. Findings from the analysis show that meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets is possible without the commissioning of new nuclear capacity and that this can be achieved at a lower cost compared to developing a new fleet of reactor as improvements to the development and operation of onshore and offshore wind and solar becomes increasingly cost effective. This would mark a notable shift from previous thoughts that nuclear generation and new build plants were an imperative step towards meeting our carbon targets.

Graph showing installed CCGT capacity by National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios
Source: Cornwall Insight

However, despite the falling costs of onshore and offshore wind, deployment would still need some form of support above and beyond the current market as captured wholesale prices for renewables projects, as the cannibalisation effect will reduce revenues. Capacity Market de-rating is also seen to be too low to encourage new build.

This continued operation of traditional, thermal baseload plant is increasingly called into question; with the modelling showing in some scenarios minimal additional CCGT deployment, with new build generally only replacing older units, as highlighted at Figure 1 below. 

The wider implications in terms of security of supply would see a shift, to now being provided by interconnectors, reciprocating engines and OCGTs – but in order to drive this new capacity an increase in the CM price is seen as inevitable.

While in terms of battery storage, such assets can be seen to play an important role, but this is predominantly restricted to supplying wholesale arbitrage, with widescale deployment not viable until late 2020s.

For more information about Cornwall Insight’s Benchmark Power Curve and our other wholesale subscription services, please contact Ben Hall (

Related thinking

Low carbon generation

Understanding the evolution of the Irish electricity markets

The Irish electricity sector has undergone significant change in recent years. The Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) arrangements introduced in 2018 fundamentally transformed the market framework to maximise competition, facilitate electricity wholesale trading, and incentivise the development of low-carbon generation sources. In parallel the physical system continues to evolve rapidly....

Commercial and market outlook

NEM power price trends

This report provides captured power price trends for the Queensland energy market (neutral case in line with AEMO's ISP Progressive Change scenario) from 2022 up to 2041 using outputs from Cornwall Insight Australia’s latest NEM Benchmark Power Curve (BPC), published on 18 December 2022. With additional commentary on the key...

Net zero corporates and ESG

Long-term regulatory and policy changes needed to avoid stalls to business decarbonisation

In light of the financial pressures faced by businesses from rising inflation and interest rates, tight supply chains and labour markets, alongside high energy bills, there is a high chance corporate investment in decarbonisation could be in trouble. In Cornwall Insight's latest Insight paper “Business net zero: Making progress in...

Commercial and market outlook

Winter 2023-24 price cap forecasts fall further below 2022-23 EPG, but long-term prospects remain uncertain

The predictions for the Default Tariff Cap in this piece are out of date, please click here to find our latest forecasts and commentary on the cap. Our latest forecasts for the Default Tariff Cap (price cap) have shown energy bill predictions for a typical household1 have fallen to £3,208...

Commercial and market outlook

Tales of the unexpected: what’s happening with gas prices

The gas sell-off for contracts relating to this winter/spring & coming summer has continued in the last few days. On January 16th alone, contracts closed down c15%-17% on gas contracts for this spring and through into summer. This is despite some analysts predicting that gapping-up would occur on the promise...

Business supply and services

Early implications of the Energy Bill Discount Scheme  

People are beginning to take in the changes from the business Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) to the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) that are scheduled for the end of March. As we outlined in our release earlier in the week, the government support is to be scaled back significantly....

Business supply and services

Our response to the announcement of the Energy Bill Discount Scheme 

The government have announced that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) will be replaced by a less supportive Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) from April 2023. The government have been managing expectations on reducing support levels for business energy costs now for several months and remain under pressure over control...

Home supply and services

Drop in wholesale energy prices sees price cap predictions fall below the EPG for second half of 2023

The predictions for the Default Tariff Cap in this piece are out of date, please click here to find our latest forecasts and commentary on the cap. Our latest forecasts for the Default Tariff Cap (price cap) have shown energy bills for a typical household are predicted to be below the government’s...