French Nuclear Safety Fears Spike UK Winter Power Prices

Thursday 7th September 2017

Prices in August rose dramatically with three key drivers. Firstly, there was concern over Norwegian gas outages. Whilst gas maintenance is standard across the summer months when demand is low, there has been prolonged and extended outages which have caused trader jitters. The second driver has been potential issues with French nuclear power stations – the regulator wants components made at a specific forge auditing which could send several plants offline, echoing the shutdown fears of Winter 2016. Finally, Sterling hit a 52 week low versus the Euro, back to levels last seen post-Brexit vote – the weaker the UK currency, the higher the potential cost of European gas imports this winter.

As we have passed into September, so prices have eased slightly – oil was flat whilst Hurricane Harvey limited Gulf refining, but this has now increased as the US facilities go back online.