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The UK’s National Grid expects significantly higher earnings for its 2021/2022 fiscal year ending in March 2022, due to the higher auction prices for electricity amid soaring natural gas and power prices in the UK and the rest of Europe.
In its 2021/22 half-year results statement for the six months to September, National Grid said it was updating higher its full-year outlook, considering “the strong start to the year.”
The utility expects to deliver full-year underlying earnings per share (EPS) significantly above the top end of its 5-7 percent range. This would be largely due to the early commissioning of the North Sea Link (NSL) interconnector with Norway, “coupled with higher auction prices across our interconnector portfolio.” This is expected to deliver around US$135 million (£100 million) higher operating profit, National Grid said.
The surging UK power prices raise demand for National Grid’s interconnectors to import cheaper electricity from Norway, France, or Benelux.
“If prices are higher in the UK, the arbitrage will be higher and therefore the revenues on the interconnectors will be higher. It’s what traders are willing to pay for that access to the UK market,” National Grid’s CEO John Pettigrew said, commenting on the performance, as carried by The Times.
Power prices in the UK and the rest of Europe are still above historical values, although they are now off the records seen in October, when record natural gas prices and low wind speeds drove wholesale electricity prices to all-time highs in many markets.
On Wednesday, Europe experienced another day of very high electricity prices, Javier Blas, Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News, noted.
Spain is one example of those high power prices as it saw on Wednesday the sixth-highest day-ahead price of above US$255 (225 euro) per megawatt hour (MWh).
“Although prices are not as high as in mid-October, the downward trend of the last few weeks is over,” Blas tweeted.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com