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Platts: Continental Power Retreats from July's Heatwave Highs

LONDON, Sept. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental European power prices eased in August on cooler temperatures and reduced industrial demand following July's heatwave, according to data released by Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

European power prices, according to the Platts Continental Power Index (CONTI)*, fell 11.5% to €33.06 per megawatt hour (MWh) compared to the July level of €37.35/MWh – but remained well above year-lows seen in May of €27.37/MWh, and of year-ago levels of €27.54/MWh.

Platts' regional analysis of European power and gas markets in August showed the following:

  • Germany: Improved nuclear availability and falling demand due to the summer holidays and lower temperatures more than offset a drop in wind output. Day-ahead prices averaged €31.59/MWh, down 11% on July but 10% above the August 2014 average. While wind output was down month over month, combined wind and solar production was still 18% above last year's level. Averaging 11.5 gigawatts (GW) each hour this August, wind and solar output has now surpassed that of nuclear production in Germany for eight straight months.
  • France: At €31.59/MWh, average day-ahead power prices in August were 16% down on July's €37.58/MWh as demand fell away on cooler temperatures and reduced industrial activity. Nuclear output was down on the month in August to 31.9 terawatt hours (TWh) from 33.2 TWh in July, partly due to environmental concerns at river-cooled nuclear reactors. Nuclear operator EDF announced outages at its Bugey, Saint-Alban and Tricastin nuclear power stations.
  • U.K.: The decline in prices in the U.K. was less marked with the average day-ahead price falling to GBP40.40/MWh in August, down from July's GBP41.83/MWh, on healthy renewables production, a bearish gas market and a slight drop in power demand. Year over year, U.K. day-ahead prices were...