Prices on the day-ahead market declined in Europe


Prices on the day-ahead market declined across Europe in 2019. In France, the average price for the year was €39.45/MWh, down from €50.2/MWh in 2018, the lowest level since 2016.

  • France

    38.48 euros/MWh

    Germany

    31.63 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    44.68 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    40.05 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    55.69 euros/MWh

    Spain

    50.32 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    52.31 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    40.30 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    20.98 euros/MWh

  • France

    36.75 euros/MWh

    Germany

    28.98 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    36.62 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    32.25 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    49.12 euros/MWh

    Spain

    39.67 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    42.77 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    37.88 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    26.91 euros/MWh

  • France

    44.97 euros/MWh

    Germany

    34.19 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    44.58 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    39.31 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    51.73 euros/MWh

    Spain

    52.24 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    53.96 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    46.00 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    29.41 euros/MWh

  • France

    50.20 euros/MWh

    Germany

    44.47 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    55.27 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    52.53 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    64.90 euros/MWh

    Spain

    57.29 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    61.30 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    52.21 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systyme)

    43.99 euros/MWh

  • France

    39.45 euros/MWh

    Germany

    37.67 euros/MWh

    Belgium

    39.35 euros/MWh

    Netherlands

    41.20 euros/MWh

    Great Britain

    48.98 euros/MWh

    Spain

    47.68 euros/MWh

    Italy (PUN)

    52.24 euros/MWh

    Switzerland

    40.92 euros/MWh

    North Pool (systeme)

    39.04 euros/MWh

Sources: European power exchanges (for Italy: Prezzo Unico Nazionale, or PUN)

The downtrend in European electricity prices notably reflected the sharp drop in fuel prices (coal and especially gas). Moreover, temperatures remained mild overall early and late in the year in France. As a result, price spikes were fewer in number and less intense, dragging the average price down.

Prices in France were at their highest of the year during the cold spell late in January. On Thursday 24 January, when electricity demand peaked for the year, the price rose above €100/MWh over seven one-hour time steps and reached €121.5/MWh between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. This peak price was nonetheless well below those seen in past years, proof that there was less tension in terms of maintaining the supply-demand balance.

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Better understanding

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Negative prices are increasingly common

Negative price periods are rare but do occur, notably when demand is low (overnight, bank holidays, weekends, etc.) and generation capacity is difficult to modulate. The fact is that it may be more expensive for a producer to stop and then restart facilities with little flexibility than to have prices be negative for a time. Most instances are when wind and solar power cover a large share of demand, which is most often seen in Germany. As renewable energies become more widely used, negative price periods will increase.

In 2019, the number of hours with negative prices in France rose further to a record high of 27. French prices fell as low as -€24.9/MWh on Saturday 8 June. Demand was low that day (it was the weekend of the Pentecost holiday) and wind power output was high due to the arrival of Storm Miguel.
Germany also saw more hours with negative prices during the year.

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Market coupling guarantees optimal use of cross-border capacities

Day-ahead price coupling makes the European market more economically efficient by allowing market actors to buy and sell electricity through exchanges on a day-ahead basis in participating countries, taking into account the physical dimensions of the networks. Trading between France and neighbouring countries thus depends directly on day-ahead prices, which are identical when interconnection capacities do not limit cross-border exchanges. The French market has gradually been coupled with most European market starting in 2006.

Note: Germany and Luxemburg form a single bidding zone. Coupling with Poland is exclusively via Sweden (SwePol subsea cable). 

 

A remarkable example of convergence occurred on Saturday 9 November, between 9:00 am and 10:00 am, when prices were identical across the entire coupled area except in Great Britain, Ireland and Poland. Prices in 30 zones converged at €44.57/MWh from Portugal all the way to Finland. Such an occurrence requires similar market conditions in all countries and interconnection capacity that does not limit trading across borders.

 

Better understanding

It should be noted that the French prices shown on this page correspond to day-ahead prices on the wholesale electricity market, and are only one component of end-consumers’ bills, which also include taxes, contributions and network costs.

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A new power exchange in France

For the first time since the electricity market was opened to competition, two different power exchanges now operate in France’s day-ahead market: Nord Pool has joined EPEX SPOT, the incumbent in the French electricity market.

As of 2 July 2019, market actors that want to sell or buy energy on the day-ahead market in France can submit bids via EPEX SPOT or Nord Pool. It should be noted that Nord Pool has been active in the intraday market in France since June of 2018, when the XBID European platform was launched.

Trading via Nord Pool in France has made up 1.4% of total exchange volumes on day-ahead markets in France since early July and 5.6% of the total on intraday markets.