Wind Power Drop Boosts German Spot

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reuters- An expected fall in Germany's wind power supply lifted spot power contracts slightly on Tuesday while French prompt prices were little changed on stable consumption expectations.

"There is some uncertainty about the return of the southern German Gundremmingen C reactor to the grid overnight," one trader said.

"Otherwise, the unusual sun intensity and high temperatures in this early spring phase have been priced in, which means good supply and little demand," he added.

The German baseload power contract for Wednesday delivery was 75 cents up at 35.25 euros ($49.0) a megawatt hour in the over-the-counter (OTC) market.

The equivalent French day-ahead contract was 25 cents lower at 35.25 euros per MWh.

Germany's midday supply of solar power has exceeded 20 gigawatts (GW) over the last few days for certain hours in the middle of the day.

Twenty-four-hour solar supply on Wednesday was forecast at 6 GW, double that on Monday, Thomson Reuters Point Carbon data showed.

The calm outlook cut the anticipated German wind power output on Wednesday to 1.2 GW from 2.8 GW on Tuesday.

French power consumption was seen staying around an average daily 57 GW all week, down from levels around 65 GW last week, as the warmer weather spell has curbed electric heating demand.

Twenty-four-hour temperatures in Germany this week are expected to average around 8-9 degrees Celsius versus forecasts for 6.6 degrees on Friday. France will see levels around 11 degrees Celsius this week versus a 9.7 degrees forecast last Friday.

In thermal plant supply, the French nuclear sector is tight and Germany's expects the return of the Gundremmingen C reactor to the grid on Tuesday at 2300 local time (CET).

Power curve prices fell along with weaker prices of gas, coal and carbon despite rising tension stemming from Ukraine and Russia's stand-off over control of Crimea, traders said.

The German benchmark price for the year ahead, Cal '15 baseload, was 30 cents down at 35.90 euros per MWh.

The equivalent French position was 25 cents down at 42.75 euros per MWh.

A Brussels summit next week is to call for greater efforts to cut the EU's reliance on Russia in the gas sector, underlining the concern about strained relations.

But Russia's Gazprom said it will press ahead with its South Stream pipeline to bring more gas to Europe in a route bypassing Ukraine, after the EU said it has suspended discussions regarding required approvals for the project.

($1 = 0.7205 euros)

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Jason Neely)

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