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Chart of the Week

2020

Free fallin’: Green generator values hit hard by COVID-19

Tim Dixon Team Lead

The well documented downturn in GB power demand and associated slump in wholesale prices since the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a sharp decline in green generator revenues. However, the magnitude of these impacts depends heavily on a generators’ routes to market and trading choices. We comment on several headline findings from our recently published Green Power Forecast report, illustrated through this week’s Chart of the Week – captured wholesale prices achieved by technology for March and April 2020. Our Chart of the Week shows the captured prices achieved by solar, wind and baseload technologies for March and April 2020, as measured using half-hourly Market Index Price data. We show a rolling 5-day average price to avoid the volatility observed day-to-day, where on some days solar PV has fallen below £0/MWh. Prices have fallen markedly over the last quarter, with the summer 20 baseload power contract down 31% at £26.9/MWh. Furthermore, since lockdown measures were implemented we have seen record low day-ahead baseload prices (as low as £10.0/MWh), and a new monthly record for negative day-ahead hourly auction price occurrences – 16 hours in total across April.  Solar PV captured prices were on average 8.4% and 14.9% below baseload levels in March and April, respectively. For wind, prices were 8.2% and 15.5% below baseload levels on average. These technologies have been particularly impacted by low demand levels resulting from the COVID-19 enforced lockdown which has seen them represent a greater proportion of the energy mix but consequently depressing power prices further. Green ...

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