European day-ahead electricity prices in 2023

  • With an average of about 97 €/MWh European day-ahead electricity prices decreased more than half of the average of 2022 and even slightly below the average of 2021
  • Overall, in all countries the prices fell close to the levels of 2021
  • In most European countries price volatility remains slightly above the level of 2021
  • Many European countries experienced a substantial increase in the number of negative prices

After the sharp increase of electricity prices in Europe with an average of approx. 235 €/MWh in 2022, in the year 2023 prices in all countries dropped again coming close to the levels of 2021 before the energy crises. The price average among Europe of 2023 thereby with approx. 97 €/MWh even fell slightly below the average of 2021 of approx. 103 €/MWh. Yet, prices didn’t reach the substantially lower level of 2020. Figure 1 compares the development of the average annual electricity price (base price) from 2019 to 2023 for 24 European countries.

Figure 1: Average day-ahead electricity prices in 24 European countries for the years 2020 to 2023 based on data of entso e [1]

The countries analyzed include all European countries with an adequate data available on the entso-e transparency platform. It can be observed, that countries with strong price increases from 2021 to 2022 – specifically Italy, with a strong dependency on natural gas – also showed the strongest decrease in prices from 2022 to 2023. Equivalently, countries with lower dependency on natural gas like Scandinavian countries and Poland showed the lowest price increase among Europe from 2021 to 2022, and also showed the lowest price decrease towards 2023. The same holds for Portugal and Spain, which introduced .

Similar to the reduced absolute price levels, also price volatility has decreased in all the European countries studied. Nevertheless, despite even falling slightly below the average of 2021 in terms of absolute price levels, price volatility was higher in 2023 than in 2021 in most European countries except Finland, Northern Ireland and Sweden. Figure 2 illustrates this, displaying the mean daily standard deviation of the electricity price per country for the years 2019 to 2023. The mean daily standard deviation in 2023 still comes to threefold the values of 2020, though it decreased by half compared to 2022. Similar to 2022 the highest price volatilities occur in smaller market areas (the Baltic States, Romania and Greece), with limited transmission capacities to the larger interconnected European grid. Also the countries with the lowest price volatility are comparable to the previous years, with Norway and Sweden having the lowest price volatility, due to their hydro power generation, as discussed in more detail for the previous year. Overall, the decrease in the daily standard deviation from 2022 to 2023 might also be attributed to a large extent to the fallen absolute price levels. Yet, taking this into account price spreads still remained high with, on the one hand the number of prices above 100 €/MWh in 2023 exceeding the number of 2021 by about 67 percent. On the other hand there was a very high number of negative prices in many European countries as discussed in the following paragraph.

Figure 2: Mean daily standard deviation of day-ahead electricity price in 24 European countries for the years 2020 to 2023 based on data of entso e [1]

While price levels in 2023 still remain high in comparison to the years before 2021, the number of negative prices has exceeded previous years by far in most European countries, as shown in Figure 3. Especially in Scandinavia the number of negative prices rose sharply. The average number of Finland, Norway and Sweden thereby augmented twentyfold. This can most likely be attributed to the high feed-in from hydro power already present in the previous years which – paired with the high wind and solar generation of the year 2023 – led to a drop in prices below 0 €/MWh. Also in mid-Europe (Netherland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and France) the number of hours with prices below 0€/MWh increased significantly. For Germany the increase in negative prices is analyzed in more detail in our price analysis for the German market. An exception builds Northern Ireland, where negative prices were much more present in 2020, than they were in 2023. 2020 thereby already marked a year with a high number of negative prices, coming close to the 2023 levels in Germany, Austria and Slovakia. Yet, except for Northern Irland and Slovakia the number of negative prices in 2023 exceed the amount of 2020 for all other European countries. This negative prices as well as the high price spreads thereby set high incentives for the integration of flexible assets, despite the drop in absolute price levels.

Figure 3: Number of negative day-ahead electricity prices in 24 European countries for the years 2020 to 2023 based on data of entso e[1]

A detailed analysis of the German day-ahead and intraday electricity prices can be found here.


[1] Entso-E Transpareny Plattform. 2023. “Actual Generation per Production Type”, Data view (entsoe.eu


*1) Some countries consist of several separate electricity market areas. For Denmark (DK), Italy (IT), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE) the electricity market area with the highest, annual electricity demand is analyzed.

*2) For those countries whose electricity prices were not published in euros, the currency was converted to euros using a fixed, yearly conversion rate