French nuclear outages cause price surge

EDF’s 2020 nuclear outage schedule has seen French forward power prices surge since late April. Covid restrictions are causing EDF to delay maintenance outages into Winter 20-21 and reduce forecast 2020 output by 80 TWh vs 2019 (see right hand panel of chart).  This has seen French power prices surge across Winter 20-21, diverging from what is usually a tight linkage to neighbouring markets (see left hand panel).  Reduced French output points to a major tightening across Western Europe (e.g. reversing UK interconnector flows across the winter). The memories of Win 16-17 are still fresh.