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GB wholesale market summary – December 2020

This wholesale market summary presents the December 2020 market data for GB. Metrics include power prices, demand emissions by technology, and company and plant performance.

Key highlights in December 2020 include:

  • With gas prices increasing by 19% from November, the average monthly power price in December rose to a year-high of £54.1/MWh, a £13.5/MWh (or 33%) increase from November and a £17.1/MWh (or 46%) increase from December 2019
  • December saw several periods of low wind output alongside lower temperatures which resulted in National Grid ESO issuing Capacity Market notifications and turning to higher marginal cost generators. These periods saw wholesale prices in excess of £150/MWh
  • Colder temperatures caused monthly transmission power demand in December to increase by 2.3 TWh (or 10%) relative to November, while the share of low carbon generation fell 5 p.p. to 59% of total demand in December
  • The higher demand in December was mostly met by an increase in thermal generation, which rose by 1.7 TWh relative to November. Consequently, carbon emissions rose by 0.9 MtCO2e (or 24%) compared to November
  • Wind assets saw an increase in their profitability in December as wind capture prices rose by £13/MWh (or 37%) while load factors decreased by only 1 p.p. (to 42%) relative to November

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