Power prices surged on extended and unplanned nuclear outage

The European power spot prices soared above 300€/MWh yesterday on higher gas prices and forecasts of colder temperatures, weak nuclear availability and low renewable generation. The day-ahead prices averaged 343.77€/MWh in Germany France, Belgium and the Netherlands, +41.20€/MWh from the previous day.

The EUAs unsurprisingly hovered in a narrow range around 80€/t on Wednesday, the market waiting for the options’ expiry before heading to a new direction. After a failed attempt to push prices higher mid-afternoon, the EUA Dec.21 closed at 80.50€/t, +1.02€/t day-on-day.

The power forward prices dropped alongside the gas market mid-morning yesterday, but also similarly recovered throughout the remainder of the day and managed to post some daily gains on the front of the curve.

In other bullish news, EDF found systematic piping issues on its N4 units Civaux 1&2 (3GW) and has therefore decided to investigate Chooz 1&2 (3GW), which use the same technology and are from the same series. Chooz’s second unit will go offline on Dec.16th, followed by the first unit on Dec.18th with both restarts scheduled on Jan.23rd. Civaux reactors will be unavailable for most of Q1 2022, with the two units scheduled to be restarted on March 31st and April 30th but likely to see their outages extended. EDF estimates these unplanned and extended outages to result in a loss of about 1TWh by the end of 2021. The capacity lost in January could also have consequences on the security of supply in the country. The power forward prices strongly spiked on the news this moorning, with the French Jan.2022 contract already surging by 37% to 540€/MWh and the German Cal22 rising by 7%.

French January 2022 power prices (EUR/MWh)

Source : Refinitiv

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