The UK’s largest power station, the 4 GW coal-fired Drax, has reported results for the year ended 31 December 2005 showing a revenue of £849 million ($1.46 billion), up nearly 55pc from 2004, a result based on a growing spread between gas and coal over the year.

The company attributed the result at least partly to a more than 50% increase in the average price for its energy sales of £33.9/MWh ($58.3/MWh), compared with the £22.9/MWh ($39.3/MWh) for 2004. Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, said: “High gas prices have meant that gas-fired generation became the principal price setting plant in the power market and had a strong upward influence on the power price. The year also saw the introduction of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme with carbon becoming a traded commodity and a new cost to fossil fuelled power plant, so also influencing the price of power upwards. Power prices rose significantly during 2005.”