Thursday 16 September 2021 10:28 am

Power cable fire sends electricity prices higher again

UK energy prices have continued to surge after a fire yesterday knocked out a crucial power cable that can supply electricity to 1.4m homes.

Day-ahead power prices climbed 19 per cent on the back of the incident, with the “interconnector” not expected to be repaired until March.

Gas prices closed in on £2 a therm, six times higher than a year ago, as the fire added to yet more pressure to a market already squeezed by a lack of global gas supply and shortages of wind-generated power.

The 2 gigawatt IFA1 interconnector, which connects the UK’s power grid to France, usually imports nuclear-generated power from the continent.

Energy data analyst EnAppSys said that the damage put the UK power market in a “risky position” ahead of the coming winter.

Last night energy prices for today’s evening peak hit 186p, which EnAppSys director Phil Hewitt described as an “extreme” level.

In recent days steepling prices have forced two more energy suppliers out of the market in recent days, meaning that seven energy suppliers have gone bust this year.

London-based People’s Energy and Bournemouth supplier Utility Point have both ceased trading, Ofgem has confirmed, leaving nearly 500,000 people needing a new supplier.

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