HomeNuclearMinister may act on falling UK power prices

Minister may act on falling UK power prices

13 May 2002 – Britain’s energy minister may be willing to introduce changes to the country’s electricity trading arrangements, amid fears that wholesale prices are falling to unsustainable levels, according to a report in The Independent on Sunday newspaper.

Since the introduction of Neta in the UK, wholesale prices have fallen with an 18 per cent drop in the last year. This has affected UK power generators including nuclear power producer British Energy. The impact of Neta has also made it more difficult for renewable power producers to provide power to the grid due to the intermittent nature of production.

The energy minister, Brian Wilson, told the newspaper, “I am not interested in setting targets to promote renewable energy if what is happening on the ground is actually pulling in the opposite direction. We will make changes to Neta to ensure that it does not prevent the development of low-emission power sources.”

The minister is set to introduce measures in the next parliamentary session to establish a British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements to allow Scotland to join Neta. The minister declined to say what measures were planned to revise Neta but the reforms could come in this Bill.

Falling power prices have led to the mothballing of several power plants this spring including some of those operated by International Power, AES and TXU, over fears that to keep them online would be uneconomic.