Market prices rose in Europe


  • France

    34.63 euros/MWh

    Germany

    32.76 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    40.79 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    41.18 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    52.19 euros/MWh

    Spain

    42.13 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    52.07 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    36.98 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    29.61 euros/MWh

  • France

    38.48 euros/MWh

    Germany

    31.63 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    44.68 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    40.05 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    55.69 euros/MWh

    Spain

    50.32 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    52.31 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    40.30 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    20.98 euros/MWh

  • France

    36,75 euros/MWh

    Allemagne

    28,98 euros/MWh

    Belgique

    36,62 euros/MWh

    Pays-Bas

    32,25 euros/MWh

    Grande-Bretagne

    49,12 euros/MWh

    Espagne

    39,67 euros/MWh

    Italie (PUN)

    42,77 euros/MWh

    Suisse

    37,88 euros/MWh

    Nord Pool (système)

    26,91 euros/MWh

  • France

    44.97 euros/MWh

    Germany

    34.19 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    44.58 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    39.31 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    51.73 euros/MWh

    Spain

    52.24 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    53.96 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    46.00 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    29.41 euros/MWh

  • France

    50.20 euros/MWh

    Germany

    44.47 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    55.27 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    52.53 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    64.90 euros/MWh

    Spain

    57.29 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    61.30 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    52.21 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systyme)

    43.99 euros/MWh

Sources: European power exchanges (for Italy: Prezzo Unico Nazionale, or PUN)

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Prices rose again across Europe in 2018. Increases were more moderate in France than in neighbouring countries (with the exception of Spain), ending the year up by an average €5/MWh relative to 2017.

Prices were notably higher than in previous years during the summer months, when fuel prices (gas and coal) and the CO2 price were all up. Moreover, a warm and dry summer in Europe, including a few spells of intense heat, drove up consumption while sharply reducing hydropower generation in Nordic countries. High temperatures also led several European nuclear plants to curb power output due to environmental constraints relating to the temperature of water used to cool reactors (rivers, seawater).

A cold spell that settled across Europe at the end of February also pushed prices up. Prices in France were above €150/MWh on four days in November and hit a high for the year of €259.95/MWh on 21 November at 6:00 pm, when temperatures were below normal for the season. At the same time, the availability of the Belgian nuclear fleet was sharply reduced by extended maintenance in the fourth quarter (of the total 6 GW installed, 2 GW or less was available), putting further stress on the European power system.

Conversely, the number of hours during which prices were negative increased to 11 in France including seven on 1st January alone. On that day, prices fell as low as -€31.8/MWh, a record low since 2013. Episodes of negative prices are much more frequent and pronounced in Germany, notably because the country’s electricity mix includes more non dispatchable capacities.

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Why do prices sometimes fall into negative territory?

Negative prices are rare, occurring mainly due to a combination of low demand (overnight, bank holidays, weekends, etc.) and high non-dispatchable generation (wind, solar). It can in some cases be more expensive for a producer to stop and then restart facilities than to have prices be negative for a time. Negative prices primarily occur when must-run renewable sources (wind and solar) cover a large share of demand, which is most often seen in Germany.

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Market coupling guarantees optimal use of cross-border capacities

Day-ahead price coupling makes the European market more economically efficient. It enables the creation of a single trading area, and thus identical price zones when interconnection capacities do not limit cross-border exchanges. France has completed market coupling with most Western European markets over the past decade, and the coupled area was further expanded to include Croatia on 20 June 2018 and Ireland on 1st October 2018.

Note: Germany and Luxembourg form a single bidding zone. Coupling with Poland is exclusively via Sweden (SwePol submarine cable).

 

A remarkable example of convergence occurred on Monday 26 March, between 2:00 and 3:00 am, when prices were identical across the entire coupled area except in Great Britain. Prices in 29 zones converged at €38.92/MWh, from Portugal all the way to Finland. This was the greatest example of convergence ever. It occurred because market conditions were similar in all countries, so interconnections did not limit trading across borders.

 

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A new price zone in Austria

The CWE region, within which market prices for electricity have been coupled since 2010, includes France, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. France, the Netherlands and Belgium each has a price zone, whereas Germany, Austria and Luxemburg were combined in a single price zone. On 1st October 2018, this price zone split into two, one including Germany and Luxemburg and the other Austria. As a result, while the number of countries in the CWE region has not changed, the number of price zones has risen from four to five.

Slight decrease in price convergence within the CWE region


Cases of price convergence within the CWE region decreased slightly to 33%, reflecting a wide range of situations. In the week of 30 July, prices converged during 89% of one-hour periods (the highest level in seven years). During some other weeks, when market conditions varied greatly between zones or were stressed, for instance during cold spells, prices did not converge across the region during a single one-hour period.

 

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