LONDON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Record wind and solar output in Germany helped push down European day-ahead power prices in April, while day-ahead natural gas prices fell as U.K. storage concerns eased, according to monthly day-ahead prices just released by Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information.
The Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index* fell 18% in April compared to March, from €55.02 per megawatt hour (/MWh) to €45.20/MWh. There were a number of days of record power output from renewable, or green, sources in Germany last month, culminating April 24 when solar photovoltaic output exceeded 23 gigawatts (GW), meeting a third of the country's working-day afternoon demand.
"Prices of power for immediate delivery turned bearish across Europe last month, with healthy wind, solar and hydro power output more than offsetting Germany's production slowdown from the nuclear plant maintenance period," said Andreas Franke, Platts power editor. "German day-ahead, peak-load power output for a week day fell to a record low April 18 at €27.15/MWh, as wind and solar power output reached an hourly record of 36 GW."
Further out the curve, prices of European power for future-dated fell heavily April 22, following the European Parliament's rejection of the European Commission's plan to delay the auctioning of carbon emissions (CO2) allowances in the European Union's Emissions Trading System. The vote triggered a 30% drop in the price of CO2 allowances to below Eur3 per metric tonne.
Meanwhile natural gas prices in the U.K. and on the Continent slipped from March highs as warmer weather and deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) took pressure off shrinking inventories in storage. The U.K.'s average day-ahead natural gas price in April was down 19% from March, while the price at Continental Europe's most liquid hub, the Dutch TTF, was down 12% month-over-month. However, on a year-over-year basis, UK and continental day-ahead gas prices remain considerably more expensive – up 17% and 14%, respectively.
"After the threat of U.K. supply shortages in March the system coped well in April," Franke said. "LNG cargoes have picked up and the weather proved milder heading into May. However, gas remains out of the money in the German power market, where cheaper coal and lignite remained the dominant price-influencing fuels."
Platts Continental Europe and U.K. Day-Ahead Monthly Averages
U.K. Power (GBP/MWh)
U.K. Gas (pence/therm)
NOTE: All figures are monthly averages of daily day-ahead contract prices as assessed by Platts.
*Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index is a demand-weighted baseload average of day-ahead contracts assessed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Platts U.K. assessments reflect day-ahead contracts assessed for firm delivery of power on the high voltage network of England, Wales and Scotland, and at the National Balancing Point for gas. The Platts assessments reflect prices as determined between buyer and seller in the open physical markets.
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About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power & Associates, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.