Power prices surged across Europe in winter 2016/17

Power prices surged across Europe in winter 2016/17 due to cold weather and nuclear outages.

France was the epicentre of the outages and some of the nuclear fleet remains offline. There was a knock-on impact on prices across the region as France is western Europe’s biggest electricity exporter.

Other power generation types such as natural gas and hydro plugged some of the supply gap. Gas stocks are now low due to high energy demand and a storage site outage in Britain, while a lack of rainfall has been an additional factor behind depleted hydro stocks.

Although power prices have since eased due to milder temperatures in mid-February, there is still the risk of spikes later this winter. ICIS looks at the fundamental factors which could determine system tightness.

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