Drax unit back online lets some gas off the hook

One of the coal units at Drax power station has fired up again, taking the heat off the need for gas power in the UK according to the daily energy […]

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By Vicky Ellis

One of the coal units at Drax power station has fired up again, taking the heat off the need for gas power in the UK according to the daily energy market report from supplier npower.

Gemma Bruce, Client Portfolio Manager at npower’s Optimisation Desk said today: “An increase in coal generation following return to service of the Drax unit has allowed some of the less efficient gas units to be removed from the stack.”

However gas remains the “dominant” fuel source this morning, she added.

Power margins continue to be healthy at more than 13GW, helped by a “pick up” in wind generation to 2.3GW this morning. Yesterday wind power was low at around 500MW.

The gas system opened undersupplied this morning with the Linepack – the volume of gas in the national gas transmission system – forecast to close 4mcm “short”.

Healthy output from LNG continued to be “healthy” but this is offset by strong exports of around 20 million cubic meters (mcm) to Europe via the IUK pipeline, the interconnector between the UK and Belgium, said Ms Bruce.

Gas demand is still around 5% below normal levels for this time of the year, she added.