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Germany Offshore Wind Farm

Windmills of the wind farm BARD Offshore 1, are pictured 100 kilometres north-west of the German island of Borkum, August 26, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

Wind, Solar And Pipelines All Fail Germany

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July 11, 2022

By Rachel Morison (Bloomberg) Short-term German power prices more than doubled as calm weather and the expected halt of gas flows on the Nord Stream pipeline crimped supplies.

Power for Monday surged to the highest since early March with wind generation forecast to remain at very low levels for the next few days. There will also be less gas available for power plants with Nord Stream scheduled to halt on Monday.

The surge in prices is yet another blow for millions of homes and factories in Europe’s biggest economy. Like everywhere else in Europe, they are suffering from soaring inflation as costs for everything from energy and petrol to food are jumping. 

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Germany is working to fill up its gas storage sites even as the main pipeline from Russia halts for maintenance. But there are fears that flows may not fully return, prompting the government to pass legislation last week to allow retired coal plants to be reactivated and for gas-fired generation to be reduced to conserve fuel. 

There was some relief on Monday though as European gas slumped as much as 12% after Canada said it would return a stranded turbine for the Nord Stream pipeline, easing tensions between the west and Moscow. 

Wind power output in Europe’s biggest power market peaked at 8,242 megawatts at midnight and is poised to fall to about 2,000 megawatts on Tuesday, according to a Bloomberg model. 

The nation’s solar panels will generate a peak of 24,254 megawatts on Monday, far below the record of 36,833 megawatts set on June 15. 

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Prices are likely to come under more pressure this week as a heatwave spreads to Germany from July 16. Temperatures in Frankfurt are forecast to reach 37.5 degrees Celsius on July 18, according to Maxar Technologies LLC.

The day-ahead contract rose to 372.60 euros a megawatt-hour in an Epex Spot SE auction on Sunday. Electricity for Tuesday traded at 370 euros via brokers on Monday morning. 

By Rachel Morison © 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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