Monday, March 21, 2011

Electricity Cost Inflation in Europe

Here we go ...
In the week since Germany pulled capacity the long-term purchases have spiked over five $Euro/MWh ... and rates are not only rising in Britain, they are rising on dirty, dirty coal contracts.

"Profit from using coal to generate power in the U.K. for next winter, the six months from October, rose 7 percent to 14.67 pounds ($23.56) a megawatt-hour in London. That’s the highest level since at least October 2009, when Bloomberg started compiling the data. The profit, known as a clean dark spread, soared as electricity tracked natural gas, making it more favorable to burn coal in power stations. Gas rose on speculation it would be used to replace nuclear generation.
U.K. Coal Plant Profits Increase as Natural Gas May Go to Japan - Bloomberg
Not only has coal's share of generation gone up recently, the price spikes being seen are also probably related to the UK's sudden hasty repeat on solar subsidies.

In Germany, the utilities that own the idled reactors are finding their profits might actually rise as lower supply rises prices.
"Following the government's decision to shut down reactors, German power prices for delivery in 2012 and 2013 rose by up to €5 per megawatt-hour compared with the level before the crisis in Japan."

Meanwhile they can refocus wind projects back to doing what wind projects do, which is grab larger subsidies as they put off competing by ... competing.


  1. Green, renewable sources are growing, as the supply of MW's is growing, the price would tend to decrease,

    the coal burning lobby is losing revenue,

    the gas burning producers are losing the huge profit they are accustomed to making and

    they all get together and pay a lobby to tell us that clean, renewable energy is not both cleaning the air and not reducing costs.

    The evidence points otherwise. More production decreases prices, period.

    Deregulated market manipulation increases prices to the public and pads the pockets of investment banks (what are they doing gambling in a LIFE SUSTAINING, strategically important public resource anyway?) and addicted to pollution utilities and their vested interest in keeping the status-quo.

    Deregulation was the brain child of George W Bush who approved Ken Lay's plan to let the Wall Street vultures pick at the less ferocious utilities and play the market. Lay is in public jail and Bush is in self-imposed reclusiveness after his "contribution" to society.

    Why are we still permitting this to happen? Have Republicans taken over Europe?

  2. Deregulation in Europe preceded Bush's presidency (both Bush and Lay were involved in implement renewable energy standards that saw the rapid buildout of wind turbines in Texas though - there's a book coming out this summer covering that).
    While the price spikes noted in this 2011 post disappeared, the "clean dark spread" did not - one thing lower market prices have done in jurisdictions, including Germany, is transfer more of the cost from fair market mechanisms to non-market mechanisms (the EEG in Germany - and for Ontario the Global Adjustment).