In August 2022, the energy market shows price records in short-term trading due to news about the Nordstream 1 pipeline. Price records are also set on the futures market. The traffic light coalition puts together a third relief package. The introduction of the gas procurement levy leads to a heated discussion.
The German Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Habeck has declared the second of three warning levels of the Emergency Gas Plan. Besides that, the EU Parliament agreed on a reform of emissions trading. Finally yet importantly, the tenders for onshore wind turbines were unsubscribed for the first time in three bidding rounds. A bullish mood prevails on the short-term markets as well as on the futures markets.
After comparing the major European countries, this post is about two smaller ones: Portugal and Denmark. Both are pioneers in renewable energy. However, Denmark outperforms the larger Portugal where natural gas still plays a significant role, as a look at the figures shows. Both countries have ambitious energy and climate targets for 2030.
The energy markets remain in turmoil because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Besides that, the short-term and futures markets continue to react to new developments with price fluctuations. With the REPower package, the EU is outlining a path to independence from Russian fossil fuels towards the accelerated expansion of renewable energy sources. In addition, the Federal Network Agency has announced the results of the tenders for second segment solar plants and the innovation tender.
After comparing the German and French energy systems, we now look at the number three and four in the EU: Italy and Spain. Both countries have a power plant fleet and electricity generation of similar size. However, Italy’s power generation is based on natural gas, while Spain generates larger shares of its electricity from wind power and nuclear power. A look at the figures below reveals similarities and differences.
Reducing dependence on Russian gas is the order of the day. Thus, import LNG terminals will soon play an important role in Germany. The idea of building import terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the German coast is already several years old. However, political support for the construction of the planned facilities in Brunsbüttel, Wilhelmshaven and Stade was limited. Moreover, investment decisions by economic actors also dragged on for a long time, were put on hold or planning was very slow.
Due to the ongoing war situation between Russia and Ukraine, there is no relief in sight on the energy market. Firstly, Europe is imposing new sanctions against Russia and looking for alternative suppliers for gas and coal. Secondly, the federal government has presented a new package of measures with support aid for energy-intensive companies. Thirdly, the results of the solar and biomass tenders were announced.
The European energy system will change dramatically in the coming decades. In addition to climate change and an outdated power plant fleet, current geopolitical tensions are also forcing the European Union and many countries to change their energy policies. What do these developments mean for prices, revenue potential and risks for photovoltaics and wind?