UK electricity prices surged to $3,180 a megawatt-hour as Ireland warned of a power shortfall that could lead to blackouts and the cost of power broke records in Spain, Germany and France.
Europe is facing an energy crunch as supplies of natural gas remain below what’s needed to satisfy demand. Any unexpected disruption in electricity supply like a power plant shutting off or a sudden drop in the wind can send already volatile prices even higher, heightening the pain for consumers as the winter heating season approaches.
Ireland, which usually exports wind power to the U.K., is facing acute supply shortages and issued an amber warning earlier Thursday signaling that the country could face blackouts.
The Moyle interconnector, which sends electricity across the Irish Sea from Northern Ireland to Scotland, was halted to prevent exports. Ireland’s Single Electricity Market Operator had issued an amber warning on Thursday morning, alerting the public to a “general shortfall” of electricity which could result in power cuts.