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Europe Power-German spot prices down, French higher
September 27, 2012 / 1:26 PM / 5 years ago

Europe Power-German spot prices down, French higher

* German demand eases, solar output to rise
    * French coal and nuclear output to fall
    * Spot price spreads widen between the countries

    FRANKFURT, Sept 27 (Reuters) - European spot electricity
prices for Friday delivery drifted apart in trading on Thursday,
with Germany's easing on weak demand and France's rising on
expecations of lower coal and nuclear generation supplies.
    Citing weather reports, traders said German wind output was
steady and solar due to peak at 15 GW midday on Friday compared
with more recent maximum levels of 10 GW.
    In France, operator EDF delayed restarts at the Blayais 1,
Tricastin 1 and Nogent 1 nuclear reactors. 
    France's day-ahead contract for Friday delivery gained 1.50
euros to 49 euros ($62.9) per megawatt hour (MWh) in the
over-the-counter market.
    The German corresponding contract shed 70 cents to
46.05 euros, creating a 3 euro spread between the two markets.
    The week- and month-ahead positions were also mainly lower
in Germany and higher in France, where colder weather impacts on
prices more strongly as the country uses a lot of electrical
heating.
    Germany's households are heated with oil and gas.
    In short-term outages in Germany, E.ON reported its 757 MW
Wilhelmshaven coal plant offline until late on Thursday and so
was RWE's Neuhaus D, a 601 MW block.
    German demand for next week was weaker because of the Oct. 3
national holiday, which will make for a quiet working week.
    Along the power curve, baseload contracts for 2013 delivery
fell by 25 cents in France to 49.95 euros while the
German equivalent was 20 cents higher at 47.85 euros, having
bounced back from a new 2012 low on Monday.
    The German benchmark Cal '13 had hit 47.50 euros on Sept.
24, which was close to a two-year low. The level on Thursday was
4.5 percent down from the position's summer high of 50.10 euros
in mid-August.
    Oil surged above $111 a barrel on renewed worries over
potential supply disruptions from the Middle East as a war of
words escalated between Israel and Iran. 
    Coal and gas traded sideways and carbon prices were mixed in
narrow ranges.
    Germany's power industry lobby BDEW tabled a proposal for a
strategic capacity reserve mechanism up to 2022, which it said
would render government planning for intervention in the market
unnecessary. 
    Operators fear the government will try and avoid supply gaps
arising from its nuclear exit and increasing reliance on
volatile renewables by dictating operating schedules for thermal
plants. They believe an auction system would be better.   
($1 = 0.7788 euros)

 (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Alison Birrane)

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