June 2017: Lack of storage puts spotlight on winter energy prices

Keith Donnelly

Keith Donnelly

Senior Energy Analyst
04/08/2017

The Vayu mid-year energy report for June 2017 shows that the average day ahead price for Irish wholesale gas for 2017 is 42% higher than the same period in 2016. Compared to June in 2016, the day ahead price this month is only 1% cheaper than this time last year.

Commenting on the outlook for the remainder of the year, Liam Faulkner, Chief Operating Officer at Vayu, said: “Brexit negotiations will continue to add a level of uncertainty to the NBP and to the euro / sterling exchange rates. Looking forward to the remainder of the year, as we close out the summer, prices should remain fairly neutral over the next three months. However, looking to Q4, this is where the real uncertainty lies.” 

Liam Faulkner added: “We are entering a winter without any gas in long range storage for the first time since Rough became operational over 30 years ago. The risk now is that the market becomes nervous and reacts to every change in temperature and demand and supply, causing prices to spike this winter and become more volatile, pushing the delivered costs for businesses upwards, and almost definitely making them unpredictable.”

Market overview

  • Average Day Ahead price for 2017 to date 43.71p, 42% higher than the same period in 2016.
  • Average June 2017 Day Ahead price 1% cheaper than June 2016
  • Following on from temporary closure of Rough Storage facility, announcement in June that it will shut permanently as a storage site
  • Winter-17 currently trading in the mid 40’s, over 20% above the lowest price seen in the last two years
  • Brexit negotiations to continue to add a level of uncertainty to the NBP and what it means for Irish consumers.

Electricity and Wind Energy Update

  • Average wholesale electricity prices up 26% compared with 2016
  • Average wholesale electricity prices for June 2017 11% lower than 2016
  • Wind energy has contributed 26% to total generation in 2017 to date an increase of 23% on the same period in 2016.

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