Continental European power prices fell dramatically November, caused by a combination of record levels of wind power output, especially in Germany, combined with mild temperatures and flat demand, according to a data analysis released by Platts, the leading energy data provider.
 European power prices, according to the Platts Continental Power Index (CONTI), fell 9.4% per MWh in November compared to October. On a year-on-year basis, the index was down 1.6%.
 Platts’ regional analysis of European power and gas markets showed that in Germany day-ahead prices in November averaged €32.12/MWh, down 17% month on month as Germany’s large fleet of wind farms averaged 14.7 GW of operational capacity each hour, a new record and up 165% on this time last year. Increased exports, plant optimisation and coal transport problems due to low river levels offset some downward pressure on prices, but into December day-ahead prices had fallen below €30/MWh.
In France day-ahead prices fell 4% month on month to €42.39/MWh in November, but were up 10% year on year as a dip in hydro, coal and nuclear output was offset by more expensive natural gas-fired production. Gas-fired generation was up more than 300% compared to November 2014, to 3.42 TWh, while nuclear output was down 1.63% year-on-year to 35.55 TWh.
In the UK power average day-ahead prices for power in November were 6% down month on month and 22% down year on year. Wind production of 2.6 TWh in November was just short of December 2014’s record. Mild temperatures and cheaper gas prices served to undermine prompt power prices further.
UK gas National Balancing Point (NBP) day-ahead prices shrugged off seasonal trends to drop 9.9% month on month, and were down a sizeable 33.9% compared to November 2014 levels.
Increases in indigenous oil and gas production from the UK continental shelf, strong imports from Norway and higher volumes of Qatari LNG arriving in to UK terminals all weighed on the NBP spot price.
Platts Powervision data shows that over the past two years Germany had brought online 7 GW of coal-fired generating capacity and over 10 GW of wind capacity, with a boom in offshore wind installations this year ensuring higher load factors per MW installed.
With domestic demand stable, growing overcapacity has seen Germany increase its electricity exports to neighbouring markets, with the country’s net export balance of 36 TWh for the January-September period already above last year’s total net export balance.