The price of gas in the United Kingdom reached its highest historical level on Wednesday after a fire that affected an electricity connection with France in a context of strong energy prices in Europe.
The France-England Interconnection power line “is out of service following a fire at our Sellindge plant” (south-eastern England), National Grid, manager of the British power grid, announced in a statement.
As a result, already high energy prices rose further and gas hit an all-time high at 194.94 pence ($ 2.7) per therm, a unit of heat.
The price of gas has soared 44% this month and 218% so far this year. Electricity also became more expensive and the bill went up almost 300% in the last month.
This breakdown “will exacerbate a decline in supply, already at the origin of record market prices, and will inevitably cause high energy costs during the winter,” estimates Myron Jobson, analyst at Interactive Investor.
This may be aggravated by the recent decision of the British energy regulator to increase the maximum price of gas and electricity by 12% from October, authorizing suppliers to pass this increase on to the final consumer.
The problem is not limited to the United Kingdom, but is expanding throughout Europe, with gas prices skyrocketing, dragging down the energy market as a whole.
In Spain, for example, there have been several historical highs in the price of electricity, whose bill grew 62% in one year, according to the Facua consumer association.
On Wednesday, the price of gas reached a price of 79.31 euros per megawatt hour in the reference European market, the Dutch TTF, after having risen almost 30% since the beginning of the week.
In a note released Tuesday, Goldman Sachs explains these “record” prices because of the “exceptionally low” storage level in Europe, despite the forecast of a cold winter.
Russia moderated its exports these months, complying with the committed quantities, but not meeting the increase in demand due to a fire in August at an important factory of the giant Gazprom.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the launch of the controversial and recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which connects with Germany, would rebalance the situation.