By Jean-Francois Munster
LElectricity prices are soaring again. On Monday, the price on the Epex Spot stock exchange for electricity delivered the next day (day ahead) reached the record figure of 603.38 euros per MWh. This is of course a “spot” price at a very precise moment, reached in an extremely volatile market context, but, for comparison, this price was on average 186 euros in April… Main explanation? The rise in the price of gas, which is an important resource for generating electricity. “The price of electricity on the day ahead market is determined by the unit with the highest marginal cost and this is generally a gas-fired plant with an efficiency rate of 50%, explains Damien Ernst, professor at ULiège, energy specialist. The price of gas being close to 300 euros per MWh, this explains why we arrive at such prices”. That the production costs of nuclear or renewables have not increased does not change anything. The gas dictates the price.
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