With the arrival of the heat wave in Europe, natural gas and nuclear power plants are unable to fully exert their generation under such high temperature, and has thus resulted in power inhibitions for the entire continent. Fortunately, Bloomberg’s model projects that Europe’s wind power generation would start to increase next week, which means that not only is the power supply crisis slightly mitigated, but also a reduction in temperature.
The UK recorded an extremely high temperature yesterday at 40°C, while the consecutive days of drought and high temperature had also led to several thousands of casualties in Southern Europe. The high temperature is affecting power generation systems at the same time, where gas-fired power generation is experiencing an appalling level of efficiency, whereas nuclear power plants are having difficulties in cooling down. As a result, Europe has been suppressed in power generation, and the low precipitation under such high temperature has impacted waterway transportation, where the Rhine has now dropped to the lowest water level in the most recent 15 years, which hinders coal transportation.
Fortunately, the high pressure belt looming over Western Europe is about to depart, and the westerlies are about to return. The UK, France, and Germany would have their wind real soon. According to Bloomberg’s model, Germany is expected to increase more than twofold in wind power generation, which although is still quite low compared to 48,663MW back in February, will still arrive at about 18,000MW.
Fabian Ronningen, analyst at Rystad Energy, commented that the increase of wind speed will lower the dependency on fossil fuels, as well as reduce the prices of key markets, aside from mitigating pressure of power supply.
As indicated by the quotations of EPEX Spot, Germany’s electricity tariff for the day before Tuesday was sitting at EU€397/MWh, which was the highest level since March, and dropped to EU€325/MWh on Wednesday. The UK, a major wind power-producing country, has also dropped in electricity tariffs. However, major nuclear country France is estimated to climb to more than EU€600 in electricity tariff, which is also higher than EU€521 on Tuesday that was the highest point over the past 15 weeks.
With that being said, the increase of output for wind power generation should be only temporary, and next weekend might see the return of the “calm” weather. According to the forecast of The Weather Company, it is highly unlikely to encounter any strong breeze in Germany next week. Additionally, the electricity tariffs would still depend on the natural gas market despite presence of wind, and the base price of the natural gas market has climbed twofold over the past month due to a decrease of imports from Russia.
(Cover photo source: Unsplash)