Wholesale electricity price rises despite Covid-19 demand slump as wind fails to blow

Wholesale electricity price rises despite Covid-19 demand slump as wind fails to blow
A significant chunk of the power generated in the Irish power market relies on wind farms.

Wholesale electricity prices unexpectedly rose last month — despite demand slumping with large parts of the economy shutting down amid the Covid-19 crisis — because the wind blew less as the good weather settled in across the land.

Figures from the monthly report by Bord Gáis Energy show that wholesale electricity prices rose 3% because a significant chunk of the power generated in the all-Ireland power market relies on wind farms.

The report may suggest that retail electricity prices may not fall as sharply as many consumers might have thought when the wholesale prices are eventually passed onto households and their electricity bills despite the price of crude oil having continued to tank in March.

Nonetheless, wholesale electricity prices had already tumbled by 22% in February following the sharp falls in crude oil and because the wind did blow that month. In March, the wind generated 44% of total power, down from the 56% share in February, according to Bord Gáis.

There was better news for households as wholesale gas prices in March fell by 3%. That was on top of February’s gas price plunge of 21%. Wholesale coal prices rose in March rose by 3% as Chinese factories started to open up again from their extensive Covid-19 lock downs. Overall, the Bord Gáis index, which tracks all the wholesale energy price inputs, tumbled by 37% in March. In February, the weighted index had slid by 15% — as wholesale electricity and gas prices both fell.

In March, Bord Gáis put the average cost of Brent crude oil at $22.70 a barrel, down from $52.50 a barrel in the previous month. Bent was trading yesterday at below $34 a barrel after clawing back some of its huge losses in recent months.

The big oil producing nations are struggling to agree some sort of accord to cut production to drain some of the oil glut on world markets.

More on this topic

Supreme Court puts stay on order quashing permission for Cork windfarmSupreme Court puts stay on order quashing permission for Cork windfarm

Greencoat Renewables makes first wind farm buy outside Ireland with French dealGreencoat Renewables makes first wind farm buy outside Ireland with French deal

Greencoat doubles in value after acquiring more wind farmsGreencoat doubles in value after acquiring more wind farms

Setback for 22-turbine Cork windfarm plan Setback for 22-turbine Cork windfarm plan


More in this Section

Berlin to take 20% stake in €9bn bailout of Lufthansa as airline struggles amid Covid-19 travel falloutBerlin to take 20% stake in €9bn bailout of Lufthansa as airline struggles amid Covid-19 travel fallout

Ictu head Patricia King warns Paschal Donohoe against cutting €350 pandemic paymentIctu head Patricia King warns Paschal Donohoe against cutting €350 pandemic payment

Engineers want the Government to increase spending to stimulate the economyEngineers want the Government to increase spending to stimulate the economy

Office supply wholesaler Spicers Ireland is rescued from liquidationOffice supply wholesaler Spicers Ireland is rescued from liquidation


Lifestyle

Struggling to stick to your work routine at home? You’re not alone.10 tips for greater productivity working from home

Relaxing the rules at home has helped Karen Koster and her young family to get through lockdown, says Helen O'CallaghanEasy does it: Relaxing home rules the 'perfect tonic for kids'

PARENTS who homeschool must feel very confident of their choice these days, surely this global event will add to their number even after schools reopen. Their pioneering spirit isGet the Look: The eco-friendly beauty products you need to buy now

The penultimate instalment of Normal People, and a Champions League goal-fest are among today's top picksTuesday TV Highlights: The penultimate instalment of Normal People and a Champions League goal-fest

More From The Irish Examiner