A major fire has forced the shutdown of one of the most important power cables from Great Britain importing electricity from France as the UK faces a supply shortage and record market prices.
National Grid was forced to evacuate staff from the site of the IFA cable high voltage power plant, which brings electricity from France to a converter station in Kent, where 12 fire trucks attended the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Fire halted imports of electricity via the 2,000 megawatt power cable as the UK does facing record market prices after a surge in the global gas market and a series of power plant failures and low wind speeds.
The oldest high energy prices are expected to lead to higher energy bills for next year and cause a chain of small energy companies will go bankrupt . UK is also more likely to rely on operate its latest coal-fired power stations .
The market price at one of the UK's main electricity auctions wasoffset at a record price of £ 2,500 per megawatt hour for peak demand hours on Wednesday, up from a typical base price of around £ 40 / MWh in 2019 and 2020.
Phil Hewitt, director of ma consulting firm EnAppSys, said the fire was " a major event "as it could lead to an extended outage of the IFA cable.
"It puts the UK market at a risk for the winter and especially if we suffer from periods of low wind and cold temperatures", he added .
The grid operator, which is owned by National Grid, said there would be enough electricity to meet the peak demand of the UK Wednesday night. However, market experts fear the latest blow to the UK power system could push prices further.
National Grid has confirmed that the hundredWest Burton coal plant in Nottinghamshire and a coal fired power station at The Drax site in North Yorkshire was warming up in anticipation of power generation on Wednesday night in exchange for insanely high payments.
Last week the power system manager paid around £ 4,000 / MWh to power plants that could produce electricity in the short term, and a total of over £ 86million to keep the lights on. The coal-fired plant at Ratcliffe-on-Soar, near Nottingham, is also expected to benefit from record electricity prices this week.
National Grid said that 'He would provide an update on the fire to IFA in due course.