Gas prices tumble, lignite close to regaining price-setting role

Wholesale natural gas prices have fallen by 80 percent since last August’s peak of approximately 350 euros per MWh, to levels of nearly 50 euros per MWh at the TTF index in recent days, a development that has brought the cost of natural gas-fueled power stations just above that of lignite-fired power generation.

Any further drop in the price of natural gas would reestablish lignite-based power generation as the technology determining electricity prices, based on a formula adopted by the EU and the Greek energy exchange.

Increased lignite-fired electricity generation in Europe has, in recent times, pushed up carbon emission right prices (ETS) to nearly 95 euros per ton following a descent to levels of about 75 euros per ton.

Last Friday, lignite-based generation captured a 22 percent share of Greece’s energy mix, much higher than levels recorded in recent times. Over the past 30 days, lignite’s share of the energy mix averaged 15.6 percent, according to the Greek energy exchange.