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Britain is a net importer of power, report from Teesside firm reveals

Britain returned to a position of being a net importer of power during the first three months of this year, a new report from a Teesside energy analyst has revealed.

This was the standout highlight from a new report on the electricity market in Britain during the first three months of this year.

The report was compiled by renowned energy data analyst EnAppSys, which is headquartered in Stockton-on-Tees.

It showed that high volumes of imports from France and Norway were largely responsible for Britain once again becoming a net importer of electricity, after predominantly exporting during Q3 and Q4 last year during a period of French nuclear outages and a European drought.

Britain imported 7.25TWh of power from the continent during Q1 of this year, which accounted for 9.7% of the total generation mix.

Mild weather during the first quarter of this year led to lower demand for power which, along with high volumes of wind generation, meant that conventional generation occupied a smaller share of the fuel mix than in any other first quarter on record. Gas-fired and coal-fired output had a combined share of 32.7% of total electricity generation in Britain, while gas storage stocks remained at high levels throughout the quarter.

The EnAppSys report showed that renewables generation (wind, biomass, solar and hydro) was the largest contributor to the GB power generation mix during the quarter, accounting for 45.1% of total output. Gas-fired generation made up 31.5% of the total, with nuclear (12.4%), imports (9.7%) and coal (1.2%) accounting for the rest.

Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys – which is part of the Montel Group – said: “Following a period in which GB had been a net exporter of power during Q2, Q3 and Q4 of 2022, it returned to a position of being a net importer during Q1 2023. Historically, it has been usual for GB to import more power through its interconnectors than it exports in any given quarter, but the extreme market conditions of 2022 resulted in a flip in GB’s position. However, in the latest quarter, power imports into GB were higher than in any quarter since Q3 2021, with the largest import volumes of 2.92GWh and 2.30GWh coming from France and Norway respectively.

“At the beginning of the quarter, nuclear availability in the French system was expected to increase to 50GW by the middle of Q1. However, the schedule was repeatedly pushed back due to a variety of factors, including the requirement for further repairs and maintenance following the appearance of stress corrosion cracking in some reactors last year, and strikes at EDF that prompted mass walkouts of employees from nuclear power stations.

“With the generally mild weather keeping conventional generation in GB relatively low in Q1, levels of gas storage were high, both in GB and the rest of Europe.”

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EnAppSys is a highly respected provider of data, consultancy and information services to companies in the energy and power generation markets. These services are used by generators, stakeholders, suppliers and traders to improve their understanding and maximise the value they are able to extract from the market.  EnAppSys, which is part of the Montel Group, is actively growing the business to provide products with enhanced analysis and forecasting capabilities, including a new product relating to ancillary services active in the market.  The company has a pan-European platform which covers underlying activity across all markets in ENTSO-E member countries and contains more detailed information available in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Additional content in other regions is continuously being developed and built into the platform.  Details at

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