A twitter correspondent posted a chart on European electricity prices, showing the UK as significantly more expensive. Is this legacy Thatherism, or Brexshite? Bit of both it would seem.

My first thougts on seeing this, was to wonder if it was the monoploly supply structure of the UK industry. There are only two generating companies. Or is it weak (arms length or captured) regulation or even just illquid markets. The issue of private sector profit seeking can’t be ignored either.

Reading the replies to the thread suggests that apart from these factors, we need to consider that the chart is a real time spot rate and so the price varies over time. The European countries are part of an EU price & supply regulation scheme (which the UK left on leaving the EU) and one of the cables from France is out of commission so less electricity can get here. So in parts it’s Thatcherite regulation, in parts inadequate infrastructure and in parts it’s another Brexshite benefit.

This is a debate where one needs to understand the science, of electricity generation and distribution, of carbon generation and supression, of long and short-term pollution as well as the economics of monopoly regulation and welfare optimisation. There’s more to say, but not today, but I know that just chanting targets is not enough,

This all interested me in the UK’s energy sourcing facts, from wikipedia, I made this,

Change in UK energy sources, 1990 – 2016, using an Open-Hi-Close-Low chart with two points. (Black is growth, white is decline.)
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_Kingdom

When I studied this in the 70’s it was all nationalised because the private sector would not invest in the science and infrastructure to diversify our primary energy sources. We have had a start-stop affair with Nuclear and fallen out of love with coal, of which we now import about 45%. and which is now running at 8.6% (Germany generates 24.1% from coal.)

More up to date and real time facts are available it https://www.energydashboard.co.uk/live, and they have a map.

Electricity Prices
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