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May 15, 2016

European power prices declined between March and April CONTI Index shows

Compared to last year, European power prices have declined in April despite a 30% reduction in nuclear power output in Germany.

By Lopamudra Roy

Compared to last year, European power prices have declined in April despite a 30% reduction in nuclear power output in Germany.

The data has been released by S&P Global Platts, an independent provider of information and benchmark prices for commodities and energy.

As valued by its CONTI Index, European day-ahead prices weakened by 2.7% between March and April to €25.13/MWh and the index decreased by 30.25% on a year-over-year basis.

Prices also decreased by approximately 2% in the natural gas market.

"Cracks will appear in system reliability unless the European Commission and European Union Member States act in unison and move decisively to complete the single market."

Platts’ power Europe managing editor Henry Edwardes-Evans said: "Failings in electricity market design, which are prone to national distortions, will see cracks appearing in system reliability unless the European Commission and European Union Member States act in unison and move decisively to complete the single market."

Germany’s April day-ahead baseload power prices increased by 1% from levels in March to €24.35/MWh, as reactor maintenance brought nuclear output to its second-lowest monthly level on record. On the contrary, solar output hit a seven-month high.

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France’s day-ahead baseload power averaged to €25.60/MWh, which recorded a 5% decline from March. Its prompt prices declined by about 35% on a year-over-year basis, though the region saw a significant rise in demand in April last year.

UK power analysis revealed that coal-fired output declined to an all-time low in April of 1.76TWh, while combined wind and solar output was 2.56TWh.

Day-ahead prices reduced by 1% on March, and 23% on April this year.

UK gas analysis showed that prices of wholesale natural gas on the country’s National Balancing Point (NBP) trading hub remained noticeably lower year-over-year throughout the last month, in spite of some below-normal temperatures towards the end of the month.

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