Energy market prices are on the rise again, serving as an unpleasant reminder of the upward trajectory experienced in previous months. Wholesale natural gas prices are no longer in double-digit territory, as was the case in recent weeks, but have rebounded to levels of approximately 150 euros per MWh, while wholesale electricity has surged to 330 euros per MWh over the past few days.
If this trend continues, then retail prices to be paid by consumers for energy from January onwards, the heart of winter, will be pushed up.
European authorities and consumers had felt some relief as a result of mild late-autumn weather around the continent, which helped subdue energy prices in November. But fears are now been reawakened following the latest surge in energy prices.
Two key factors, both hard to predict, are now at play and will influence energy prices in Europe. The duration of China’s deeply unpopular lockdowns, subduing energy demand in China, is one factor. Europe’s ability to keep energy storage facilities filled for as long as possible is the other factor. Both these factors will determine the duration and intensity of the new upward trend in energy exchanges.
Consumers in Greece can expect to be charged among Europe’s lowest retail electricity price levels in December, as the current month’s prices are shaped by the country’s month-ahead model, requiring all suppliers to declare prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.
December’s retail prices were set by suppliers on November 20, when wholesale electricity prices were down to levels of between 115 and 120 euros per MWh. It remains to be seen what lies in store from January onwards.