The continuing rise of natural gas prices, prompting higher electricity prices around Europe as Russia holds back on full supply to the continent over its Nord Stream 2 certification dispute with the EU and the European Commission appears to have run out of possible remedies, threatens to push electricity prices even higher in January, by as much as 15 percent.
Any government support through energy subsidies seems futile under these continually worsening market conditions.
A typical household consumer who was charged a tariff rate of 24.5 cents per KWh in December will, under the current conditions, face a tariff level of 28.4 cents in January, a 16 percent increase.
At the Greek energy exchange, wholesale electricity prices yesterday settled at an exorbitant level just short of 416 euros per MWh, after peaking at 542 euros per MWh for an hour, a rise prompted by Monday’s wholesale natural gas price of 146 euros per MWh.
The problem is affecting all of Europe, the energy price surge continuing around the continent. The EU has maintained a relatively passive stance despite Europe’s rising energy poverty. In Greece, the threat of a new round of unpaid receivables for suppliers is intensifying. This would be a destabilizing development for the market.
Government officials estimate that a wholesale natural gas price average of 70 euros per MWh in 2022, up from 20 euros per MWh in 2020, a year of lockdowns, would deprive the GDP of more than four billion euros. This figure could double if current conditions are sustained.