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AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, April 8, 2024. In the first week of April, prices fell in the main European electricity markets, with most of them below €50/MWh. Photovoltaic energy reached an all‑time production record in Portugal and the second highest value ever in Italy. In France, wind energy registered the second and third highest production for an April month. In addition to increases in solar energy in most markets and wind energy in some of them, lower demand and lower gas and CO2 prices contributed to the fall in electricity market prices.

Solar photovoltaic, solar thermoelectric and wind energy production

In the week of April 1, solar energy production increased in most major European electricity markets compared to the previous week. The Italian market registered the largest increase, 76%, followed by a 60% increase in the Spanish market. The Portuguese and French markets registered increases of 35% and 25%, respectively. The German market was the exception, with solar energy production down 1.4% for the week as a whole, reversing the upward trend of the last two weeks.

On April 4, the Portuguese market set an all‑time record for solar photovoltaic energy production, with 16 GWh produced using this technology. The Italian market also set a milestone for photovoltaic energy production on April 6, with the second highest value in history, 119 GWh, only 190 MWh below the all‑time record set on June 17, 2023.

For the second week of April, according to AleaSoft Energy Forecasting’s solar energy production forecasts, solar energy production will increase in Germany and Spain, while in Italy it will decrease.

AleaSoft - Solar photovoltaic thermosolar energy production electricity EuropeSource: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from ENTSO-E, RTE, REN, REE and TERNA.
AleaSoft - Solar photovoltaic production profile EuropeSource: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from ENTSO-E, RTE, REN, REE and TERNA.

In the case of wind energy production, in the first week of April, it increased compared to the previous week in the German market, by 49%, and in France, by 25%. In the case of the French market, the upward trend continued for the second consecutive week and it registered the third and second highest daily wind energy production values for an April month on April 2 and 4, with 280 GWh and 286 GWh, respectively, after 317 GWh of April 7, 2022.

On the other hand, the Iberian Peninsula and Italy registered a change in trend. After two consecutive weeks of increases, wind energy production fell by 40% in Italy and 33% in Spain. The Portuguese market was the one with the smallest decline on this occasion, 4.0%.

According to AleaSoft Energy Forecasting’s wind energy production forecasts for the week of April 8, production using this technology will decrease in the markets of the Iberian Peninsula, France and Germany, while it will increase in Italy.

AleaSoft - Wind energy production electricity EuropeSource: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from ENTSO-E, RTE, REN, REE and TERNA.

Electricity demand

In the first week of April, electricity demand decreased in most major European electricity markets compared to the previous week, maintaining the downward trend of previous weeks. The French market registered the largest drop, 10%, while the Portuguese market registered the smallest drop, 0.1%. In both markets, the declines followed increases in the previous week. In the German market, demand fell for the sixth consecutive week, and in Belgium and Italy, for the fifth week, with decreases of 0.5%, 2.7% and 3.7%, respectively. In Great Britain, demand fell by 6.3% and in the Netherlands, by 8.5%. In contrast, the Spanish market registered an increase of 1.8% following the recovery in demand due to the Holy Thursday holiday in some regions of Spain and the national holiday on Good Friday.

In the week beginning on April 1, average temperatures increased in all analyzed markets, favoring lower demand in most markets. Increases ranged from 1.0 °C in Italy to 4.4 °C in Belgium.

For the week of April 8, according to AleaSoft Energy Forecasting’s demand forecasts, demand will increase in Portugal, Italy, Germany, Spain and Belgium. In contrast, demand will decline in France, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

ty demand-  European countriesSource: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from ENTSO-E, RTE, REN, REE, TERNA, National Grid and ELIA.

European electricity markets

In the first week of April, prices in the main European electricity markets fell compared to the previous week. The EPEX SPOT market of Belgium and France registered the largest percentage drops, 51% and 75%, respectively. In the rest of the markets analyzed at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, prices fell between 16% in the MIBEL market of Spain and 34% in the N2EX market of the United Kingdom.

In the week beginning on April 1, weekly averages were below €50/MWh in most analyzed European electricity markets. The exceptions were the British market and the IPEX market of Italy, with averages of €50.63/MWh and €75.78/MWh, respectively. In contrast, the Portuguese and Spanish markets registered the lowest weekly averages, for the ninth consecutive week, €3.87/MWh and €4.41/MWh respectively. The French market followed them closely with a weekly average of €9.88/MWh. In the rest of the analyzed markets, prices ranged from €26.35/MWh in the Belgian market to €45.46/MWh in the German market.

Regarding hourly prices, in the first week of April, all analyzed markets registered negative prices, except for the Italian market. The Dutch market reached the lowest hourly price, ‑€125.30/MWh, on Saturday, April 6, from 14:00 to 15:00. The Spanish and Portuguese markets registered negative prices for the first time in their history on April 1 and 5, respectively, something that repeated during some hours on April 6, 7 and 8. On Sunday, April 7, the Nord Pool market of the Nordic countries registered negative hourly prices for the first time since October 2023. In the Italian market, there were no negative prices, but the price of €0.10/MWh on April 7, from 13:00 to 14:00, was the lowest in this market since April 2020.

In the case of daily prices, the French market reached a negative price of ‑€0.71/MWh on Saturday, April 6. This price was the lowest since early July 2023 and the only negative price since then in this market.

During the week of April 1, the decrease in average price of gas and CO2 emission rights, as well as the decrease in electricity demand and the increase in solar energy production in almost all analyzed markets, exerted their downward influence on European electricity market prices. In addition, wind energy production increased in markets such as Germany and France.
AleaSoft - Solar panels

AleaSoft Energy Forecasting’s price forecasts indicate that in the second week of April prices might increase in the analyzed European electricity markets, influenced by increased demand and decreased wind energy production in most markets.

AleaSoft - European electricity market pricesSource: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from OMIE, EPEX SPOT, Nord Pool and GME.

Brent, fuels and CO2

In the first week of April, settlement prices of Brent oil futures for the Front‑Month in the ICE market increased to above $90/bbl. On Monday, April 1, these futures registered their weekly minimum settlement price, $87.42/bbl, which was slightly lower than the previous week’s last session, $87.48/bbl. In the remaining sessions of the first week of April, prices increased. As a result, on Friday, April 5, these futures reached the weekly maximum settlement price, $91.17/bbl. According to data analyzed at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, this price was the highest since October 2023.

Increased instability in the Middle East drove Brent oil futures prices higher in the week beginning on April 1. Expectations of increased demand associated with economic improvements in countries such as China or the United States also contributed to this trend. In addition, on Wednesday, April 3, OPEC+ decided to continue its policy of production cuts.

As for TTF gas futures in the ICE market for the Front‑Month, on Monday, April 1, they reached their weekly maximum settlement price, €27.34/MWh. On Tuesday and Wednesday, prices declined. On Wednesday, April 3, the settlement price, €26.05/MWh, was the weekly minimum. According to data analyzed at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, this price was 5.9% lower than the previous Wednesday and the lowest since the first half of March. In the last sessions of the week, settlement prices recovered. On Friday, April 5, the settlement price was €26.61/MWh.

An unplanned reduction in gas supply from Norway contributed to the price increase at the end of the week. However, the still high levels of European reserves kept TTF gas futures prices below €27/MWh for most sessions in the first week of April.

As for settlement prices of CO2 emission rights futures in the EEX market for the reference contract of December 2024, they remained below €60/t during almost the entire first week of April. In the first sessions of the week, they continued the downward trend started at the end of the previous week. On Wednesday, April 3, these futures registered their weekly minimum settlement price, €57.41/t. According to data analyzed at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting, this price was 8.1% lower than the previous Wednesday and the lowest since the first half of March. In the last sessions of the week, prices recovered. As a result, on Friday, April 5, these futures reached their weekly maximum settlement price, €60.58/t.

AleaSoft - Prices gas coal Brent oil CO2Source: Prepared by AleaSoft Energy Forecasting using data from ICE and EEX.

AleaSoft Energy Forecasting’s analysis on the prospects for energy markets in Europe and the energy storage

The 43rd webinar in the monthly webinar series of AleaSoft Energy Forecasting and AleaGreen will take place this Thursday, April 11, at 10:00 CET. This webinar will focus on regulation, current situation and prospects for energy storage for the coming months. Raúl García Posada, Director at ASEALEN, the Spanish Energy Storage Association, will participate for the third time in the monthly webinars. As usual, the evolution and prospects of European energy markets will also be analyzed.

Source: AleaSoft Energy Forecasting.