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30 Jul 2021, 11:36
Julian Wettengel

Power market price highest since 2008 due to high gas, coal and ETS prices – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

High natural gas and hard coal prices and expensive allowances in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) have significantly pushed up the power price over recent months, said the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) in an analysis. According to EWI, prices of 90 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) were recorded on the electricity exchange in July, the highest "since 2008." Between the end of 2020 and July, the weekly average wholesale electricity price has doubled, said the institute. Gas prices rose due to the cold in spring which emptied storages, increased demand especially from Asia, as the economies recover after the pandemic, and more repair works on the gas infrastructure. The higher gas and hard coal prices also meant that lignite power units moved up the merit order and were more competitive, said the analysis.

Power prices for households and for industry continue to be heatedly debated in the context of the German and global energy transition. The wholesale power price only reflects part of what consumers must pay. A large majority of the price per kilowatt hour in Germany is made up of taxes and levies, such as grid fees or the renewables levy.

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