Year-ahead electricity prices in France, Germany, and the Nordic countries jumped on Friday to fresh records as natural gas supply from Russia continues to be limited ahead of the winter.
Soaring energy prices are fueling inflation and adding a lot of burden on households and industries across Europe.
In France, year-ahead power prices surged as much as 13% on Friday alone, to $1,003 (1,000 euro) per megawatt-hour for the first time ever, per Bloomberg’s estimates. French power prices have now soared tenfold over the past year.
Apart from rallying gas and power prices in the rest of Europe, France’s electricity supply is constrained by outages at some of its nuclear power plants. France's nuclear power generation accounts for around 70 percent of its electricity mix, and when its reactors are fully operational, it is a net exporter of electricity to other European countries. Prolonged maintenance at several nuclear reactors this year, however, means that France—and the rest of Europe—have less nuclear-generated power supply now.
In Germany, year-ahead electricity prices also hit a record of $843 (840 euro) per MWh on Friday, surging by 50% this week alone.
Europe’s benchmark power price, the price in Germany, traded on Thursday at the equivalent of $1,101 a barrel crude oil, while the price of benchmark natural gas would be $518 per barrel in crude oil, according to Bloomberg’s estimates.
In the Nordic countries, year-ahead power prices also jumped by double digits on Friday, up by 11% to a record high of $278 (277 euro) per MWh.
Energy prices in Europe have been smashing records all this week after Russia’s Gazprom said on Friday that it would halt all deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany for three days between August 31 and September 2. This announcement raised renewed concerns that supply via the pipeline could be further cut or halted altogether after the three-day unplanned maintenance at the end of August.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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