French winter power prices rocket

The French nuclear fleet has historically been a key pillar of European power generation. Multiple safety related maintenance issues, 10 year maintenance overhauls and refuelling outages have significantly inhibited generation in 2022 however, with utilisation wallowing below 50% currently.

Concerns have been turning towards winter. As gas prices increase to price in the risk of further cuts in Russian supply, French power prices have been more than outpacing these rises, with an increase in peak clean spark spreads (CSS) across Nov-Dec 2022 of 70% over the past month, catapulting peak power prices up to 1500 EUR/MWh to incentivise demand curtailment. French energy suppliers have been echoing this message, calling for power & gas to be rationed across households & businesses.

Winter concerns have been driving policy responses across Europe as we laid out in our article on Monday, looking at Germany’s decision to allow 10.4 GW of coal & oil capacity to return.