Gas and nuclear lead in UK power capacity auction

Britain has secured 50.41GW of backup electricity capacity for delivery in 2021/22. A total of 74.24GW entered the Capacity Market auction – which pays power plant operators to make backup […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Britain has secured 50.41GW of backup electricity capacity for delivery in 2021/22.

A total of 74.24GW entered the Capacity Market auction – which pays power plant operators to make backup electricity available at short notice – out of which 67.9% were successful.

Gas power plants accounted for the lion’s share of the agreements at 29.6GW, followed by nuclear at 7.9GW and interconnectors, which were included in the auction for the first time, at 4.6GW.

Coal took a hit, with only 2.56GW of the total share, pumped storage stood at 2.5GW while battery storage accounted for only 153MW.

The auction closed at £8.40/kW per year.

The results will remain provisional until confirmed by Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Getting the best deal for energy billpayers is central to our Industrial Strategy and the Capacity Market is helping to drive competition, protect customers and ensure security of supply.

“Today’s record low cost of £8.40/kW ensures that we have enough energy to provide homes and businesses in Britain with secure, reliable electricity supplies for 2021/22.”

Last week, operators of the Eggborough coal-fired power station in Yorkshire announced the plant will be shut down after failing to secure new supply contracts for delivery in 2018/19, which cleared at £6/kW.