New: Benchmark Power Curve service launched

Cornwall Insight has recently launched its new Benchmark Power Curve (CI BPC) service to complement its already deep set of wholesale research subscription services.

The CI BPC is a comprehensive market and asset-level power price modelling service that delivers long-term price forecasts, informed by industry-leading regulatory, market and policy expertise, and supplemented with direct access to trusted practitioners.

Focusing on scenario-based 20-year projections of electricity prices in Great Britain (GB), coverage includes baseload and peak prices presented in real values of the day and at quarterly granularity.

With the rapid and ever-changing landscape of the market, the scenarios are not mere snap-shots based on the current market structure, but capture this developing nature with greater renewables, flexibility, interconnection with European markets and growth of electric vehicles (EVs).

The CI BPC is designed with a range of market participants in mind from lenders, equity investors, developers, operators, traders and financial advisors engaged with the power market in GB. It has also been developed with a technology agnostic approach, with price curves for different technologies (including offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, CCGT and others), fully reflecting price and value-capture based on the different operating and load profiles of various types of power assets.

The report will also show the effect of location on the behaviour of small-scale capacity in the distribution networks. With the modelling integrating balancing market, capacity market, gas, coal, and carbon forecasts.

The service is presented quarterly with a summary report, accompanying a detailed results workbook. Subscribers will also be able to take part in a user group forum discussing the issues and helping to frame future updates.

One notable output from the first set of results concerns the ability and process for GB to meet its current carbon budgets. Findings from the analysis show that meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets is possible without the commissioning of new nuclear capacity and that this can be achieved at a lower cost compared to developing a new fleet of reactor as improvements to the development and operation of onshore and offshore wind and solar becomes increasingly cost effective. This would mark a notable shift from previous thoughts that nuclear generation and new build plants were an imperative step towards meeting our carbon targets.

Graph showing installed CCGT capacity by National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios
Source: Cornwall Insight

However, despite the falling costs of onshore and offshore wind, deployment would still need some form of support above and beyond the current market as captured wholesale prices for renewables projects, as the cannibalisation effect will reduce revenues. Capacity Market de-rating is also seen to be too low to encourage new build.

This continued operation of traditional, thermal baseload plant is increasingly called into question; with the modelling showing in some scenarios minimal additional CCGT deployment, with new build generally only replacing older units, as highlighted at Figure 1 below. 

The wider implications in terms of security of supply would see a shift, to now being provided by interconnectors, reciprocating engines and OCGTs – but in order to drive this new capacity an increase in the CM price is seen as inevitable.

While in terms of battery storage, such assets can be seen to play an important role, but this is predominantly restricted to supplying wholesale arbitrage, with widescale deployment not viable until late 2020s.

For more information about Cornwall Insight’s Benchmark Power Curve and our other wholesale subscription services, please contact Ben Hall (

Related thinking

Low carbon generation

Our Renewables Pipeline Tracker: In with the new – scoping projects and progression through planning stages

Our latest Renewables Pipeline Tracker was published on 11 June, and this blog provides a summary of some of the recent developments in our coverage of the pipeline for new build and repowering renewables assets in GB. What’s new? Seabed leasing rounds, scoping projects and CfD announcements Since our previous...


Your invite to our wholesale Summer Outlook 2021 webinar

We are delighted to invite you to our wholesale Summer Outlook webinar. On 12 May, Cornwall Insight will be hosting an open webinar covering our independent views, analysis and outlook of the upcoming summer 2021 period. As part of this session, we will explore a range of both historic and...

Low carbon generation

How nuclear energy can help the UK reach its net zero goals

This article was originally written in Energy Spectrum on 21 March 2021. To find out more about a subscription to Energy Spectrum, please contact Nick on There are several challenges to reaching net zero, where its proponents believe nuclear could add value. Some of tomorrow’s main issues concern: How to provide low...

Commercial and market outlook

In the midst of the Australian Energy Transformation Process

Australia is in the midst of an energy supply and distribution transformation. This transition is twofold and includes not just bridging the gap from conventional fossil fuels to renewable technologies (due to their reduced carbon footprint, lower levelized cost of energy and improved reliability levels by comparation), but also requires...

Low carbon generation

Nuclear energy and its potential importance for net zero

This article was originally written as a longer piece in Energy Spectrum on 21 March 2021. To find out more about a subscription to Energy Spectrum, please contact Nick on Nuclear energy has been an integral part of the UK’s electricity system for many decades. Currently, nuclear provides around...

Low carbon generation

Up north and down south – trends for generator TNUoS charging

The topic of generator Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) is becoming a subject of increasing interest for stakeholders as regulation, policy, and the generation mix create potential volatility for future charging trends. The significant costs posed through TNUoS are an important consideration for generators, with high variability between regions...

Energy storage and flexibility

Glory Days – T-1 auction clears at £45/kW

To say the T-1 Capacity Market (CM) auction clearing at £45/kW per year was a surprise feels like an understatement. It looks like a major windfall for successful participants in the auction –  many are asking just what happened? Easy money Until February, it looked like prices would clear at...


Alert: Budget 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget on 3 March, a year on from the start of the COVID-19 crisis and his second in the job. Headline announcements included, among others, a sovereign green bond, the UK Infrastructure Bank, a freeze in Carbon Price Support and £20mn for floating offshore wind....