Aug 19, 2022
German Power Climbs to Fresh Record as Industry Starts to Buckle
(Bloomberg) -- European power prices climbed to fresh records, putting more pressure on industrial production and consumers struggling with a cost-of-living crisis.
Rallying gas, coal and carbon prices and little sign of relief for Europe’s embattled power infrastructure are pushing electricity costs higher. That’s threatening the future of Germany’s industrial heartlands.
This week’s prices are “unbelievable,” analysts at Energi Danmark wrote in a note. “The rally on the gas and coal market and the very high spot prices we see this week have given the already elevated market further momentum.”
German year-ahead power, a benchmark for Europe, is on a nine-day rising streak. The contract rose 6.1% to a record 570 euros ($573) per megawatt-hour, with French futures jumping as much as 2.8% to 720 euros. Europe year-ahead coal futures hit a record $311.50 a ton, while carbon-emission permits traded at all-time highs.
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Russia is squeezing gas flows to Europe as heat waves limit hydroelectric and nuclear production, weighing on power supply. Germany is attempting to use coal to ensure reliable power this winter, but low water levels on the Rhine are limiting the ability to deliver on the plan. That situation is predicted to ease on Tuesday.
German power for next year gained more than 23% this week and, like gas prices, is trading roughly 11 times higher than the historic norm.
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