Gas prices in Europe soar to $2,100 per 1,000 cubic metres
Gaz prices climbed 25 % on Great Britain’S NBP hub on 21st December, clearing the level of $2,100 per 1,000 cu.m., Bloomberg reported. Forward prices on the Dutch TTF hub at the close of trade on Tuesday increased by 23 % to reach $2,090 per 1,000 cu.m.

    The price increases were driven by reduced stocks in underground storage facilities. As of 20th December, European storage facilities were filled to 59 % capacity, compared to 78.5 % a year ago, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe. In Slovakia, figures for 20th December showed that storage figure at 51.3 %, with the figure for the Netherlands at 40.4 % and Austria at 36.4 %.

    Increased gas prices spurred a leap in electricity prices. Forward electricity prices doubled in Britain over the period 30th November to 21st December – from $362 to $762 per megawatt hour (MWh) and increased by 82 % in Germany (to $483 per MWh). Gas accounted for 36 % of the energy balance in Britain in 2020 – less than renewable sources (41 %) – not counting hydropower (2 %) and other sources (21 %), according to BP figures.

    This year has not been very favourable for British wind power generation — which has more than 40 % of its capacity at offshore sites. Total output from wind power over the first 10 months of 2021 declined by 4 % year-on-year to 44 terawatt hours (TWh) – total power generation from all sources over the same period rose in Britain by 3 % (to 203 TWh).

    Electricity price increases in Germany are to a great extent linked to higher prices for coal, which accounted in 2020 for 24 % of all power output (with gas accounting for 16 % and renewables plus hydropower accounting for 41 % and 3 % and other sources totalling 16 %).

     Coal prices at one of Europe’s largest hubs – Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp – climbed 20 % from the end of November (to $155 a tonne, according to Bloomberg). By way of comparison, the average price of coal in 2020 at the same hub stood at $51 a tonne.

    High prices had little effect on output. Total coal-fired power generation over the first 10 months of 2021 rose in Germany by 31 % (to 118 TWh), according to figures provided by the Ember think tank. Reasons behind the price rise for coal include the shortage of gas, making it harder to meet increased demand for energy as economies recovered. Total gas-fired generation over the first 10 months of 2021 declined by 8 % (to 58 TWh), whereas output from all energy sources rose by 3 % (to 427 TWh).


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December 2021