Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber 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
Electric Power

German year-ahead gas-fired power generation margins hit 2017 high

Energy | Electric Power | LNG | Natural Gas | Natural Gas (European)

The future of European gas after Groningen

Electric Power

Platts Market Data – Electric Power

Energy | Electric Power | Electric Power Risk

Nodal Trader Conference, 13th Annual

Agriculture | Coal | Emissions | Electric Power | Natural Gas | Oil | Crude Oil

EC wants AI to help with energy, transport, climate

German year-ahead gas-fired power generation margins hit 2017 high


Bullish coal near 3-year high lifts power despite bearish gas

Cal-18 clean spark spread up Eur7 since Jan to minus Eur1.60/MWh

EUA carbon allowance gains benefit gas over coal

London — Generation margins for gas-fired power plants to produce electricity for delivery in Germany next year have risen to a fresh 2017 high as bullish coal has pushed outright power for Cal-18 delivery to its highest in over two years, while a rebound for EUA carbon allowances has benefited gas more than carbon-intensive coal-fired generation, S&P Global Platts data shows.

Not registered?

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

Register Now

The year-ahead clean spark spread (CSS) for a 50% efficient gas plant rose to minus Eur1.60/MWh by the Thursday close, after starting the year below minus Eur8/MWh and compared with levels around minus Eur14/MWh two years ago as global gas prices have dropped amid a global oversupply from LNG, while European coal prices are supported by tight supply fundamentals in Asia, the data shows.

This trend has more than halved the gap between old coal and modern gas-fired power plant margins from still over Eur6/MWh in May to now under Eur2/MWh and compared with almost Eur20/MWh just two years ago, Platts data shows.

Front-year coal into Europe has rallied over 20% since May to almost reach $80/mt Thursday, its highest level since September 2014, while TTF front-year gas has remained flat since May and is now over a third below levels seen in 2014, Platts generating fuel data shows.

In addition, EUA carbon allowances have gained over 30% since May reaching a five-month-high at Eur5.96/mt Thursday.

Rising coal and carbon prices were the main reasons for outright power to rise to fresh year highs, with the benchmark Cal-18 baseload trading above Eur33/MWh for the first time since Platts started assessing the contract at the start of 2015.


On the near curve, however, where modern gas-fired power plants have been ahead of old coal plants in the merit order for a second summer in a row, the front-month clean spark spread for September delivery has turned negative this week amid improved near-term nuclear availability and German nuclear output reaching its highest level so far this year with all eight remaining reactors online for the first time in 2017.

Monthly output from coal-fired power plants in July rebounded from a record-low in June, but the closure of a 2 GW coal plant as well as continued renewable addition and new gas-fired plants all increase the pressure on more coal-fired power plant to close amid a worsening outlook for the oldest and least efficient units.

Germany's modern fleet of 45% efficient coal plants that entered the market over the past years with Uniper's 1 GW Datteln-4 unit set to be the last ever coal-fired power plant to come online next year in Germany, will not be impacted by this trend, expected to provide baseload power for decades to come.

Germany's biggest power generators RWE and Uniper have renewed their focus on security of supply amid at least 5 GW of lignite and nuclear capacity leaving the market by end-2019 reducing conventional supply margins with Germany's boom in onshore wind installations also expected to come to a halt in 2019.

--Andreas Franke,
--Edited by James Leech,