Belfast Telegraph

Wholesale electricity cost up 26% year-on-year in Northern Ireland

By Staff Reporter

Wholesale electricity prices in Northern Ireland were on average 26% higher last month compared to last year, a report says.

The Vayu monthly energy report said wholesale prices had found a natural floor.

And the growing strength of the euro was also making wholesale power more expensive for Northern Ireland businesses.

Vayu senior energy analyst Keith Donnelly said: "Foreign exchange is key at the moment with Brexit negotiations still on the horizon, and a comprehensive win for Theresa May in the upcoming UK general election could mean a rally for sterling making power cheaper for Northern Ireland."

But apart from the uncertainties surrounding the general election result, "everything from temperature-driven demand to supply is as would be expected for the summer period".

Wholesale gas prices were 30% higher during May this year compared to May 2016, Vayu said. The contract price for gas delivery tomorrow was 39.5p per unit, compared to 30.44p for May last year.

But wholesale gas prices were 1% lower month on month.

The average wholesale price of electricity in the Single Electricity Market (SEM) in May was 3.66p per unit, up 26% on May last year and down 5% on April.

And total wind generation capacity in Ireland was now 3,736 MW, Vayu said. Wind energy has accounted for approximately 20.6% of overall electricity generation on the island of Ireland so far this month, reaching a peak of 2,751 MW on May 5.

That peak generation had the potential to meet over 61% of total electricity demand on the island of Ireland at that time.

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