SEE Region: Greece and Hungary increase net electricity imports to 1.1 GWh and 1.3 GWh in January

, SEE Energy News

Exceptionally mild weather in January further dampened already declining gas demand in the region, contributing to a drop in wholesale prices, which fell to levels not seen in at least 12 months.

As a result, the spot prices of electricity in January were reduced in all markets of Southeast Europe, with the biggest drop recorded in Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia – by around 45 percent.

The Greek market was the most expensive in the region in January 2023 with an average monthly electricity price of 191.8 euros per MWh.

Relatively warm weather, a drop in gas prices, an overall increase in solar and wind power generation, and a drop in CO2 emission prices have contributed to falling prices in European electricity markets, despite growing demand.

Compared to December 2022, the demand for electricity increased or remained stable in all analyzed markets, except in Serbia where the demand decreased by about 4 percent.

On the other hand, the highest growth in demand compared to the previous month, of 25 percent, was recorded in Greece, given that average temperatures dropped by about 3 degrees.

The increase in electricity demand in January compared to the previous month was generally influenced by the recovery of activity after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Production from variable renewable sources recorded growth in all markets, except in Serbia, where a decrease of 11 percent was recorded.

Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia recorded an increase in production from renewable sources by 34 percent, 31 percent, and 22 percent, respectively, while Greece and Hungary recorded smaller-scale gains of 13 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Hydropower production was lower in five of the eight analyzed countries.

The drop in spot gas prices during January affected the drop in wholesale electricity prices, and most countries adjusted their cross-border electricity trade accordingly.

Most countries increased electricity imports to cover higher demand, while others reduced their net imports thanks to high production of renewable energy sources.

Thus, in Greece, imports in January increased by 207 percent compared to December, to 1.12 GWh. Hungary remained one of the key net importers in the region, with net imports of 1.31 TWh, which is 14 percent more compared to the previous month.

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