01.06.2022

Development of Energy and CO2-Prices 2022

Price developments on energy markets – especially electricity and gas – are currently the subject of intense political debate. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has once again raised the price level on the energy markets, which was already significantly higher than in previous years. In particular, short-term products for gas and electricity delivery in the coming month rose briefly by over hundred percent at the beginning of March. For the analysis of these price developments, a weekly updated diagram will be published on this page, which shows the development of the futures markets for electricity and gas, the CO2-prices, as well as the oil prices. The date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is highlighted thereby.

Price developments on the futures markets for electricity, gas and CO2, as well as the oil market
Figure 1: Price developments on the futures markets for electricity, gas and CO2, as well as the oil market [1, 2, 3, 4]

Price Development

Price development in the week from 05/23 to 05/29

Like in the previous weeks, the price for the following year 2023 and the following month diverge on the electricity markets. The price for the calendar year 2023 rises thereby in this week from 228 €/MWh to 232 €/MWh, while the price for the following month falls from 191 €/MWh to 184 €/MWh. Gas prices remain at very similar price levels, with a slight drop in the price for the following year from €89/MWh to €87/MWh. The price for the following month gas remains at 88 €/MWh. After the significant decline of the preceding week, the CO2-certificate price rises again from 83 €/tCO2 to 87 €/tCO2. The oil price continues to increase from $115/bbl to $119/bbl, approaching the level of the price peaks right after the invasion of Ukraine.

Price development since January

Electricity and gas prices in January already are at a strongly increased level compared to January of the previous year, for example with an increase from just over €50/MWh on January 04, 2021 to €250/MWh on January 04, 2022 for the following month of electricity  [3]. This price level declines slightly until an initial price spike on the day of the Ukrainian invasion. This is followed by a sharp rise, especially in prices for the shorter-term following month, with prices more than doubling. The prices for the calendar year 2023 basically describe a similar course, but to a lesser extent. The oil price, which had already risen steadily before the invasion, also records another significant increase in the period between the end of February and the first week of March, and in the following period it transitions into a very volatile pattern. The prices for the following month for electricity and gas, as well as the oil price reach their maximum on 07. March and sink again thereafter. While the electricity price returns to the price level of the beginning of the year, the gas and oil price levels remain significantly higher.

CO2-prices show a contrary development to electricity and gas prices. After a slight increase in January and February, they fell in the following days of the Ukrainian invasion and reached their minimum on March 7 with a price of less than €60/tCO2. The reason for the contrary decline in the CO2-price with rising energy prices is, among other things, an economic downturn anticipated by the market in the course of the crisis, so that demand for CO2 allowances could fall. Despite a slight increase afterwards, the price level remains slightly below the price at the beginning of the year.

Products displayed

The products shown in the diagram are briefly presented and described below.

Electricity and gas

The development of electricity and gas prices is shown for the products base 2023 and following month. Base 2023 refers to a continuous supply of electricity or gas over the entire period traded, in this case for the year 2023. The following month refers to the price traded on the power exchange for a continuous supply in the next month. In January, for example, the ” following month” is used to trade a continuous delivery for February. [2, 3]

CO2-Price

Market developments in emissions trading are reflected in the EU emission allowances (EUA) for the year 2023. The price represents the price for the right to emit one ton of CO2 in the 4th trading period of the EU ETS. The 4th trading period covers the years 2021 to 2030. An emission allowance traded for the year 2023 that is not used is automatically transferred to the next due future (year 2024) after the expiry date in December 2023. [1, 6]

Oil Price

The oil price development is represented by the OPEC basket price. This is the average of the prices of a selection of OPEC oil products [4]. The prices refer to direct delivery and are stated in US dollars per barrel.

Influence of renewable energy feed-in on the electricity price 

The invasion of Ukraine has fueled the discussion about accelerating the expansion of renewable energy sources and moreover given it a new direction. The so far mainly ecological reasons for an expansion were complemented on the one hand by the political-strategic argument to avoid dependencies on often non-democratically led countries. In addition, the sharp price increases not only on the gas markets but also on the electricity markets led to a new assessment of the costs of electricity generation. Production by renewable energy sources with stable marginal costs close to zero has a decisive advantage over fossil energy sources, which are sometimes subject to strong price fluctuations that can also only be predicted to a limited extent.

 

This relationship between electricity prices and the feed-in of renewable energy sources is shown in Figure 2. Here, for January and February 2022, the day-ahead prices of the weekdays Monday to Friday are related to the respective feed-in of solar and wind generation (onshore and offshore). The hours from 10 am to 1 pm were mapped, which have a comparable load level. Overall, the standard deviation of the load level over all hours is 6.3 GW for a mean value of 67.4 GW.

Correlation day-ahead prices and feed-in of renewables for January to May 2022, working days 10 am to 1 pm
Correlation day-ahead prices and feed-in of renewables for January to May 2022, working days 10 am to 1 pm

It becomes visible that with a low feed-in from renewables, considerably higher electricity prices occur than with a high RE feed-in. In these cases, renewables push power plants with high marginal costs out of the supply curve (merit order) due to their low marginal costs. This also tends to lower the price-setting bid and thus the electricity price (merit order effect).

Literature

[1] European Energy Exchange (EEX), „EU ETS Spot, Futures & Options,“ 07.04.2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.eex.com/de/maerkte/umweltprodukte/eu-ets-spot-futures-options.
[2] European Energy Exchange (EEX), „Gas: Futures market data,“ 07.04.2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.powernext.com/futures-market-data.
[3] European Energy Exchange (EEX), „Power Futures,“ 07.04.2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.eex.com/de/marktdaten/strom/futures.
[4] Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), „OPEC Basket Price,“ 07.04.2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/data_graphs/40.htm.
[5] GEMB Gesellschaft für Emissionsmanagement und Beratung mbH, „Emissionshändler.com – Die Handelsperioden,“ 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.emissionshaendler.com/de/eu-emissionswissen/eua-im-kreislauf/die-handelsperioden. [Zugriff am 07.04.2022].