UK Merchant Prices

This page includes a database of merchant electric prices in the U.K.  I have created a database named the UK PRICE DATABASE that you can download below.  This database has prices all the way back to when the market began in 1989. Since the year 2000 the prices are on an hour by hour basis. UK electricity merchant prices are horribly untransparent and I have searched all over to find a file with UK electricity prices that has this kind of historic data but I could not find it.  Instead, over the years I have found varous pieces of data and I have put them together into a database. As with other merchant analysis, I have converted the data to USD and compared the data with natural gas prices.

UK Price Database.xlsm

Updating UK NORDPOOL

2001 to 2010 Half Hourly Prices.xls

Updating the UK Price Database Yourself

In terms of updating prices, the NORDPOOL website has luckily come to the rescue.  Since 2014, NORDPOOL records hourly merchant prices in GBP on an hour by hour basis.  This means you can press a button and upload the new prices in a pretty straightforward manner. A link to the NORDPOOL website that contains the UK prices is included below.

http://www.nordpoolspot.com/globalassets/marketdata-excel-files/n2ex-day-ahead-auction-prices_2018_hourly_gbp.xls

So, here is the step by step process for updating the UK price data.

First, note that you must change your excel to the Europeaner format (with commas and points).  You can do this by pressing the macro on the first page named Europen format.  When you are finished updating using the steps below, you can press the re-set macro.

Step 1: When updating the data, go to the operation page of the NORDPOOL UK database.  Then press the button named “UPDATE DATABASE.”  This will ask you for the years to update and put in the years from the last update including partial years.  Existing hourly sheets will be deleted.

Step 2: Get the currency and comparative gas prices into the database.  To do this, copy and paste data from the main currency workbook and from the commodity price workbook after you have updated the links (note you have to be careful about the decimal problem).  The monthly commodity prices are copied to the pink data sheet and the GBP Exchange rate is copied from the daily currency database to the sheet named currencies.

Step 3: Keep the decimal method in European mode and then copy the prices in GBP/MWH to the UK Database.  You may have to copy the dates after you paste the prices.

 Case Study Analysis with UK Data

I use the database below to evaluate the crash that occurred in the UK after all of the new capacity and the change in the structure of the market. The crash was not due to NETA that changed the process for bidding and made sure that there was more demand response. I think it was due instead to breaking up the system and to the surplus capacity caused by the “dash to gas”.

 

Lack of Transparency in UK Prices

As I was blabbering about above, transparency in prices is related in a fundamental way to the objectives of merchant markets. If the transparency for the German prices is bad, the UK process is so disgusting that it makes you scream. Go to Google and try to find UK electricity prices and gas prices. You get to a website named APX where you cannot even find how to buy the historic data. There is absolutely no reason it should not be transparent. They tell you to go to some kind of website were you are supposed to send an e-mail begging for the data. I did this and, after a few days I got a response that unless I was a company I could not get the data. Also you have to pay for it. How utterly unacceptable. Sorry about the moaning and, at any rate, if you look hard you can get some data from OFGEM and also from NORDPOOL.

I have tried to put data on UK power prices together from various historic sources including data from Nordpool. Despite the disgusting lack of data transparency for the UK wholesale power markets I think the file below is a pretty comprehensive database below. I have documented different sources of data that I have tried to carefully document and present in a transparent manner. The first file shows how I have put together the historic price data from various sources. The second file is a master database that displays trends in prices and implied heat rates that I find very interesting. The link to the Nordpool website that has U.K. data and verification of the Nordpool data against other sources is included in the files.