Householders are being warned to brace themselves for a rise in their electricity bills as a series of freak events conspires to send wholesale prices rocketing. Safety concerns at France’s nuclear power plants operated by the energy company EDF have led to many reactors being temporarily shut down. There have been similar suspensions in Belgium. In addition, a lack of rain in Norway and Sweden – whose hydro plants generate large amounts of electricity for their European neighbours – has limited both countries’ energy production. The combined effect has been to send the price at which energy companies buy their power through the roof. Last Monday, a UK energy company buying power on a next-day contract would have paid about £150 a megawatt hour. The average price a year ago was £38.10. For companies that had not agreed forward contracts, the cost has soared to more than £1,000.
Observer 12th Nov 2016 read more »