Colder weather, reduced liquefied natural gas (LNG) send-out from terminals into the U.K. gas network and an escalation in the Ukraine/Russia conflict lifted European natural gas prices in late August while day-ahead electricity price trends diverged, according to data just released by Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider.
“U.K. spot natural gas prices briefly dipped under 35 pence per therm (p/th) in mid-July, but rose 8% month over month in August to an average 40.60 p/th on the back of cool temperatures and lower LNG supply,” said Platts energy analyst Alex Froley.
Prices of day-ahead natural gas at continental Europe’s most liquid natural gas trading hub – the Dutch TTF – rose 6% last month.
On the back of higher natural gas prices and unexpected outages at EDF Energy’s Heysham and Hartlepool nuclear power plants, U.K. day-ahead power prices in August rose 6% from July.
The Netherlands also saw an increase in the day-ahead power price, up 10% month over month to Eur37.94 per megawatt hour (/MWh).
However, natural gas played a much lesser role in French and German power markets, where strong nuclear, hydro and renewables generation in August drove the Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index* down 6.36% month over month to Eur27.54/MWh.
This marked the eighth consecutive monthly decline in the CONTI index, which was last seen at current levels in August, 2007.