Region, Noticeable drop in spot prices in October due to warm weather and falling gas prices

, SEE Energy News

In October 2022, electricity prices in Europe continued to fall, as gas prices followed a downward trend, supported by the fact that EU ministers intervened in the energy market to limit rising energy prices. All European countries are recording lower electricity prices after EU energy ministers approved measures to address the problem of high energy prices combined with adequate levels of natural gas in storage.

Furthermore, electricity prices in Europe have fallen from peak levels thanks to mild weather and months-long efforts to fill gas storage ahead of winter and replace Russian supplies.

Europe recorded the warmest October on record this year – temperatures were almost 2°C above the average for the period 1991-2020.

In October, electricity prices fell significantly in all markets of Southeast Europe. The Greek market was the most expensive in the region, with an average monthly price of 232.8 euros per MWh.

Electricity consumption dropped significantly in Greece and Croatia as warm weather prevailed. On the other hand, the central part of the SEE region had a higher demand for electricity. The biggest drop in demand for electricity was recorded in Croatia – by 41.8%.

Production from variable renewable energy sources increased in October in half of Southeast European countries, such as Greece, Hungary and Serbia, which was attributed to higher solar radiation and strong winds. Other countries registered reduced generation from renewable sources – Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, with Croatia witnessing the largest percentage drop of 26.35% compared to September 2022.

Hydropower production was significantly lower in Greece and Croatia, as October was a month with little precipitation.

As European spot gas prices followed a downward trend during October, this affected wholesale electricity prices. Most countries have reduced cross-border electricity flows to accommodate lower electricity demand, but some countries have increased net imports to offset lower renewable generation.

Greece

In October, the spot prices of electricity in Greece fell significantly to a monthly average of 232.8 euros per MWh, which is 44.2% less compared to September and 17.3% more compared to October 2021.

The average spot price was EUR 416.9 per MWh in September, EUR 436.5 per MWh in August, and EUR 338.1 per MWh in July.

Spot prices recorded a month-on-month decline, mostly due to the mild weather in October, which combined with efforts to reduce electricity consumption, put downward pressure on electricity demand and thus electricity prices.

The average daily spot prices of electricity retreated below the level of 350 euros per MWh, with the exception of the 3rd and 11th of October, and ranged between 107 and 379 euros per MWh throughout the month.

The volume on the ΗΕΝΕΥ exchange during October fell by 6.4% compared to September 2022, and is also lower by 6.4% compared to October 2021.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the average spot price of electricity in October fell to 206.08 euros per MWh, which is 45.2% less than in September and 9.3% more than in October 2021.

On October 10, Bulgaria recorded the highest daily average spot price of EUR 357.24 per MWh, driven by higher demand for electricity on that day.

Energy production from coal and nuclear power plants decreased in October, while hydro production increased, reaching 203.8 GWh. Monthly volumes of electricity traded on IBEX decreased by 18% compared to September, and were also lower by 7.2% compared to October 2021, reflecting the reduced liquidity of IBEX.

Romania

In Romania, the average monthly spot price of electricity decreased in October, following the regional trend. Demand for electricity increased by 2.3% compared to September, while production from renewable sources and coal decreased by 15.7% and 7.6%, respectively. The production of hydro energy recorded higher values ​​compared to September by 13.7%.

The average monthly spot price of electricity was 206.17 euros per MWh – it is 45.5% lower compared to September 2022 and increased by 7.2% compared to September 2021. The highest daily average spot price was recorded on 11 October – 357.24 euros per MWh.

The monthly volume of electricity trade on the OPCOM stock exchange decreased by 2.3% compared to September 2022, i.e. by 7.9% compared to October 2021.

Hungary

Spot prices in Hungary fell due to lower gas prices, especially in the first half of October, as the risk of gas shortages decreased. Demand for electricity in Hungary increased in October by 4% compared to September due to warm weather at the start of the heating season.

The average spot price fell by 50.4% compared to the previous month, to 194.05 euros per MWh. It is also 1.6% less than a year ago, in October 2021. The highest daily average spot price was recorded on October 4 – 312.27 euros per MWh, which was caused by higher demand for electricity on that day.

Trading volume on HUPX decreased by 1.5% compared to September, i.e. by 26.9% compared to October 2021, which reflects a year-on-year decrease in market liquidity.

Serbia

The Serbian spot price of electricity fell in October as a result of lower gas prices after gas storage was filled. Domestic consumption of electricity increased compared to September (+10.3%), and net export of electricity increased to 91.4 GWh, as a result of increased production from renewable sources. During October, domestic coal production increased to 1,939.5 GWh (+6.9%).

Electricity spot prices fell, boosted by lower prices on the regional gas market, to a monthly average of EUR 204.59 per MWh, which is 48.3% less compared to September 2022. The spot price increased by 1.6% on annual level. The highest daily average spot price was registered on October 4 – 328.83 euros per MWh. The amount of electricity traded on SEEPEX fell by 2% compared to September 2022, while the year-on-year volume of the spot market increased by 3.5%.

Croatia

In Croatia, gas prices followed a downward trend in October, reflecting eased supply, which led to a 49.9% decrease in domestic spot prices compared to September. Wholesale electricity prices reached 196.8 euros per MWh, which is 2.8% less compared to October 2021.

Also, the demand for electricity decreased significantly, by 41.8%, due to the warm weather in the region, putting pressure on the reduction of domestic electricity prices.

The net import of electricity decreased to 419 GWh (by 17% compared to October). The highest daily average spot price of electricity was recorded on October 4 – 305.95 euros per MWh. The volume on CROPEX increased by 20.6% compared to September, and CROPX also recorded a year-on-year monthly increase in the volume of the spot market by 0.28%.