Experts urge businesses to remain cautious of ‘precarious’ energy market – London Business News

Businesses looking to mitigate risks of unstable energy prices are being urged to remain alert and embrace greener technologies as energy markets remain volatile due to disruptive unplanned outages and ongoing summer maintenance, according to the latest quarterly analysis from commercial energy and sustainability consultancy Advantage Utilities.

Though much of 2023 has been characterised by the gradual easing of energy prices, a saw-tooth movement has been observed in the market since early June, in which – despite bearish fundamentals – negative news has moved market prices upwards sharply.

Advantage Utilities CEO, Andrew Grover, said, “Businesses must stay on top of the current energy market which remains extremely  precarious.

“We’ve already witnessed volatile energy price changes in response to ongoing disruptions and that’s in spite of healthy gas storage levels. We also believe that energy prices will remain at current levels for a few years to come.”

When unplanned energy outages have occurred, such as the fault at Chevron Australia in September which shut 25% of output, supply has become strained and prices have soared. Expected yearly maintenance has also constricted the ability of countries including the UK to increase gas flows, causing a precarious knife-edge situation within the energy market.

Whilst healthy UK and EU gas storage levels remain and mild weather is predicted throughout autumn, uncertainty in the wholesale energy market’s ability to withstand disruption leaves it exposed to interconnected global events and any unforeseen changes in demand.

These include industrial action, ongoing summer maintenance, increasing demand for energy from the Asian market and geopolitics.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to bubble under the surface, meaning uncertainty is likely to continue for some time to come. Despite this, European countries have been keen to store any gas surplus in western Ukraine, significantly contributing to healthy storage levels across the continent.

This may contribute to stabilising the wholesale energy market, but fallout from the Russian invasion will continue to leave market supplies vulnerable through ongoing uncertainty.

“By reducing reliance upon uncertain grid-sourced energy, businesses do have the opportunity to lower their energy costs and create more stability within their budgets by looking to greener, cheaper generation methods.

“The market may tick up in price again, so sourcing a more dependable greener fuel would not be a bad idea given the current picture within the energy market,” Grover adds.

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