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Senior Commercial Analyst at Upside Energy — https://upside.energy

Yesterday, the much anticipated T-1 GB Capacity Market auction cleared at £45/kW with 2.25GW of de-rated capacity awarded contracts, presenting a valuable opportunity for DSR and storage asset owners. This is a stark contrast to the last T-1 auction which cleared at £1/kW.

This comes shortly after the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) increased the target from 0.4 GW to 2.4 GW due to a “range of non-delivery uncertainties”. For the 2021/22 T-1 auction, the increase to 2.4 GW is a significant jump on the initial target outlined in last July, where National Grid ESO (NGESO) did…


Two weeks into the new year and National Grid ESO (NG ESO) has already issued three Electricity Margin Notices (EMN) and one capacity market notice due to system tightness.

This has led to high prices. In addition, the UK leaving the Internal Energy Market (IEM) created further complexities including the decoupling of the GB day-ahead auctions. The first EMN arrived on Tuesday, January 5th for Wednesday 16:00–19:00 due to a margin shortfall of 584MW (Table 1). Day Ahead prices responded with the hourly N2EX and EPEX auctions reaching £1,000.04 / MWh (the highest DA price in the hourly auction) and…


By many accounts, 2020 has been full of ups and downs, but no-one could have predicted the impact of the Coronavirus on the energy system. Although reaching net-zero by 2050 is still a great challenge that will require all of us to come together to achieve, 2020 gave us a glimmer of hope by demonstrating that a system with high levels of renewable generation can be a reality. As 2020 draws to a close, we share our thoughts about it and what to look forward to in 2021.

The Good

Since 2010, the proportion of generation from coal and oil…


By many accounts, 2020 has been full of ups and downs, but what no-one could have predicted was the impact of the coronavirus on the energy system. Although reaching net-zero by 2050 is still a great challenge that will require all of us to come together, 2020 gave us a glimmer of hope by demonstrating that a system with high levels of renewable generation can be a reality. As 2020 draws to a close, we share our thoughts about it and what to look forward to in 2021.

The Good

Record levels of renewable generation were reached without any reliance on coal…


This week National Grid has issued two Electricity Margin Notices (EMN) for the hours between 16.30 and 18.30 on Wednesday 4th November and Thursday 5th. These were the first EMNs since 2016.

The first was issued on Tuesday night at 8pm due to a forecast shortfall in the system margin of 740MW between 16.30 and 18.30 for the 4th of November.

At 8pm last night, another EMN was issued, with the 12:00 forecast showing a Loss of Load Probability (LoLP) of 99% in SP37 (18.00–18.30) and a de-rated margin of -1.8GW. The updated 8 hour forecast illustrates the market response…


At lunch time yesterday, the System Operator published its first capacity market warning in two years for 17:30. This was due to the margin dropping below the threshold set out in the capacity market rules[1]. The notice instructed generators with capacity market contracts to be ready to meet that shortfall in capacity. The warning was cancelled after an hour as the system operator restored some capacity.

What causes a capacity market warning?

Capacity market warnings occur when either:

(i) The System Operator gives a Demand Reduction Instruction and/or an Emergency Manual Disconnection Instruction to one or more DNOs, or;

(ii)…


Yesterday, National Grid published its Future Energy Scenarios, a report which outlines four different pathways for the decarbonisation of the UK electricity system to reach net zero by 2050.

This year the report includes three scenarios in which net zero is met, two by 2050 (Consumer Transformation & System Transformation) and one by 2048 (Leading the Way). The final scenario, Steady Progression results in a 68% emission reduction compared to 1990 baseline levels. By the mid-2030s, the net carbon intensity of electricity generated in GB has become negative in all net zero scenarios (Fig. …


The GB energy market is expected to become increasingly dominated by renewable and low carbon technologies. Since 2010, the proportion of generation from coal (Fig. 2) and oil has declined dramatically, whilst generation from wind and solar has increased (Fig. 1). Last year, the system ran without coal for just over 18 days and this year the last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9th April, with no coal being burnt for electricity since (except for a period of maintenance at the end of day 67) (Fig. 3).

Figure 1. Electricity generation mix by quarter and fuel…


The UK’s energy system is changing with renewable generators increasingly forming part of the energy mix and flexibility providers coming into their own to support the transition[1].

Storage assets currently have access to a number of potential revenue streams, which continue to fuel the business case for investment. In 2019, this saw the UK’s battery storage capacity increase by 70% and it is predicted that the market will grow by a further £6 billion by 2030.

What no-one could have predicted, however, is that 2020 would be dominated by the arrival of coronavirus and its impact on populations and economies…


UKPN’s Leighton Buzzard 6MW/10MWh battery was the UK’s first grid-scale battery storage facility. It went live at the end of 2014 under the Smarter Network Storage innovation project. Grid-scale storage has now grown to 1GW since this first project five years ago. To-date the principal commercial service that these assets provide is that of frequency response; helping the grid to maintain the balance of supply and demand in real time.

Much has been written over the last 18 months on how the economic aspects of the Frequency Response (FR) markets have changed, however the operational utilisation of grid-scale storage within…

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