BY CONTINUING TO USE THIS SITE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO OUR USE OF COOKIES. REVIEW OUR
COOKIE NOTICE

Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to: Latest news headlines Analytical topics and features Commodities videos, podcast & blogs Sample market prices & data Special reports Subscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

IF you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the�Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Coal

Analysis: Coal benefits most from European cold snap

Crude Oil

How are Asian crude flows responding to US-China trade war, Iran sanctions?

Coal

Platts Global Coal Alert

Commodities | Electric Power

Utility Supply Chain Conference

Coal

German energy research budget gets 45% boost to Eur6.4 billion

Analysis: Coal benefits most from European cold snap

Highlights


Coal output surges on year in Germany, Italy

Gas price spikes limit gas-running during cold snap

Hydro, nuclear, wind gains almost offset demand spikes

Coal-fired power output across Western Europe benefited most from the very cold weather at the start of March with on-year gains for nuclear, hydro and wind almost offsetting the demand spikes, TSO data aggregated by S&P Global Platts Analytics for the first days of March shows.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Gas-fired output, meanwhile, was down on the year as bullish outright gas prices pushed gas-fired generation margins into deeply negative territory with Dutch day-ahead gas spiking to a record-high on March 1 driven by 'panic' in the UK gas market as the cold spell boosted demand with very low storage levels, Platts' pricing data shows.

Overall, the recent cold snap saw the first significant widening of the so-called 'thermal gap' across Continental Europe's four biggest power markets this winter, but with only German and Spanish gas output up on the year in early March, the Platts Analytics data shows.

The 'thermal gap' is the top part of the merit order where coal and gas plants compete as the price-setting forms of power generation. The size of the thermal gap is set by variations in demand, renewables output and conventional plant availability.

So far this winter season (October-March), gas plant output is on average 3.9 GW lower than the previous winter, while coal plant output this winter season is down 5.4 GW on the year.



But within the 'thermal gap' there has been a swing from gas to coal during Q1 with worsening gas generation margins despite coal generation margins also hitting record-lows as EUA carbon allowances more than doubled since last Summer to over Eur10/mt, Platts fuel switching data shows.

In the first six days of March, gas plant output across the four nations was down 5.1 GW, while coal output was up 7.8 GW, the limited data sample covering the cold snap shows.

Across Continental Europe, only France has a lower average power demand so far this winter season as a very mild January saw demand plunge 13 GW compared to a very cold January 2017, the data shows.

In the recent cold snap, however, French power demand spiked above 95 GW, a level not reached since 2012, with average demand so far this March up almost 9 GW, the data shows with France by far the most temperature-sensitive power market.

Those demand gains, meanwhile, were almost offset by higher hydro, nuclear and renewables across the region with hydro output recovering from near record-lows at the start of winter to an almost 5 GW gain for Q1 and the first week in March compared to the previous year's period, the data shows.

Nuclear output across France and Germany was 4 GW higher than a year ago in early March, with only Spain seeing a drop in nuclear.

For the winter season so far, both hydro and nuclear output are now ahead of 2016/17 levels, the aggregated data shows with wind output so far this winter still over 8 GW above last winter despite much calmer conditions for much of February.

In contrast to the cold snap in January 2017, this late winter cold spell coincided with windy and at times sunny conditions with Germany registering its first 50 GW spike for wind and solar output on March 1 around midday, a separate set of hourly TSO data aggregated by Fraunhofer ISE shows.


TABLE: SWINGS IN POWER GENERATION FUNDAMENTALS FOR EU4*


(values in average GW/day, to March 6 vs year-ago period)

* EU4 = Germany, France, Italy, Spain

Source: S&P Global Platts Analytics

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell, jeremy.lovell@spglobal.com