European Energy Prices set Records

By Andy May

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, due to a rare lack of North Sea wind, already high European energy prices are climbing higher.

“Gas and coal-fired electricity plants were called in to make up the shortfall from wind.

Natural-gas prices, already boosted by the pandemic recovery and a lack of fuel in storage caverns and tanks, hit all-time highs. Thermal coal, long shunned for its carbon emissions, has emerged from a long price slump as utilities are forced to turn on backup power sources.”

Prices in the U.K have jumped. The inset graph shows 2021 average wholesale prices in the U.S. in $/MWh but scaled roughly the same as the European prices in Euros.

“Two U.K. energy retailers—PFP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy—went out of business when electricity prices spiked this month. The companies, with a combined 94,000 gas and power customers, didn’t return requests for comment.

Winners include U.S. and Russian companies exporting gas to Europe, as well as renewable-power suppliers producing electricity with near-zero operating costs. Shares of Cheniere Energy Inc., a major U.S. exporter of liquefied natural gas, have risen 47% this year.”