The cut in natural gas supplies by the Russian Gazprom has affected 13 countries of the European Union. But despite what has happened in the recent past, the prices of blue gold and more generally of electricity are falling. An unprecedented situation, on which experts are questioning themselves. And there are those who speak of a possible gas bubble ready to burst. By blowing up Vladimir Putin’s plans.
The downward trend has been going on for days. But yesterday’s closure of the Nord Stream, the gas pipeline that supplies Germany and from here to other European countries, had made us think of a turnaround. Instead, in the last 24 hours the price of gas in Europe has contracted, reaching a price of 238 euros per megawatt hour at the opening today on the Amsterdam stock exchange, against the average of 300 euros recorded up to a week ago.
Wholesale electricity prices also fell significantly. “The price of electricity on the European power exchange EEX has fallen by more than 30% – writes Welt – The so-called futures for electricity to be delivered in the next year have suddenly dropped from peak values, some of them even higher than 1000 euros per megawatt hour, to a level below 600 euros. Good news for the many companies that had delayed the supply of gas and electricity for the following year “.
Of course, 600 euros is still a high price compared to the costs companies were used to. But the dynamic, according to several experts, could be a sign that the announcement of upcoming extraordinary measures by the European Commission, such as the decoupling of gas and electricity prices, or the price cap, may have prompted speculators to try to sell. electricity before these interventions, accepting a lower income, but still higher than what they risk achieving in the near future.
According to Tobias Federico of the energy analysis company Brainpool in Berlin, what we are seeing could be much more than a temporary decline: “The price bubble of the last few weeks could not be explained by fundamental data,” he explains to Welt. “It was clear that at some point (the bubble) would burst, but not when and how.” According to Lion Hirth, an energy market expert at the Hertie School in Berlin, the fall in prices has above all a political value in the context of the tug-of-war between Germany, the EU and Russia: “Moscow’s blackmail potential has vanished”, argues.CopyAMP code.
We will see. In the meantime, everyone is clear that what comes out of the Brussels tables will have an impact on the future of the energy market. The Commission has announced proposals to reform the market and is considering whether and how to cap the price of gas. “We have seminars and exchanges because there are different forms of ceilings that can be imposed: for gas imports from Russia into the EU, wholesale prices for example or retail prices. Member States already apply these. . We are looking at all these possibilities and we want to hear from the Member States what they are already doing on this front, “said Mechthild Worsdorfer, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, in a hearing in the Energy Committee of the European Parliament.
“The situation remains very difficult – said Worsdorfer – There are risks of gas supply interruptions which unfortunately are getting stronger. Already half of the member countries have been partially or totally affected by serious disturbances. Thirteen member countries, by virtue of this, they have been cut off from Russian supplies “. But there is a “glimmer of light” and “it concerns the level of storage: on average it is at 80%, with some states above and others that are between 60 and 70% but with an upward trajectory” , he added.