UK electrical prices soar after a key cable hit by blaze
A key electricity cable between Britain and France has been shut down, sending wholesale energy prices soaring.
Wholesale energy prices rose on Thursday after a key electricity cable between Britain and France shut down.
A jump in prices after a UK electricity interconnector was taken offline after a fire has been fuelling concerns about inflation and the potential impact on businesses just as the country's economy starts to recover from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
National Grid said the fire and planned maintenance at a site near Ashford in Kent meant the cable will be totally offline until 25 September.
Half of its capacity, or one gigawatt (GW) of power, is expected to remain unavailable until late March 2022.
On Wednesday, British electricity prices for the following day jumped by 19% to £475 per megawatt hour (MWh).
The energy regulator told the BBC that increasing prices, for gas in particular, "will feed into all customer energy bills in the UK".
After the fire an electricity interconnector running under the English Channel was "not operating", the National Grid said in a statement.
Electricity interconnectors are high-voltage cables that connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries, and allow them to share excess power.
A spokesperson for National Grid's electricity system operator, which balances power supplies in the UK, said it expects to "continue supplying electricity safely and securely" despite the incident.
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