The price of electricity in the wholesale market, a reference for calculating the regulated tariff paid by almost 11 million households, has reached a milestone this month by becoming the most expensive in its history with 8 records, the last of 189.9 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) on Wednesday.
According to monthly data prepared by Efe with information from the Iberian market operator OMIE, in September the wholesale market (pool) has exceeded an average of 156 euros / MWh after being above 150 euros in up to 19 days, thus confirming its upward trend for the second consecutive month.
This rebound began at the end of last July, when the light reached 106.57 euros / MWh (Wednesday 21) and broke for the first time with the historical maximum, which until then dated from January 11, 2002 (103.76 euros / MWh). However, that new record was broken up to eight times -five of them, in the same week- in August, the month that he said goodbye with the pool at 130.53 euros, and an average price of around 106.
A historic September, touching 221 euros
Those records were soon left behind: on Wednesday, September 1, the price increased by 1.5% to 132.47 euros, and just one day later, it was already at 140.23. On Friday the 10th, the pool it passed the barrier of 150 euros (152.32) for the first time. After this, another four highs arrived, up to 189.9 of this Wednesday 29. To them it would be necessary to add another mark, this intraday, since tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. it will reach 221 euros.
Four times more expensive than in 2020
By virtue of these data, the price of electricity in the wholesale market in September has practically quadrupled compared to 2020, when on average it did not reach 42 euros. So far in 2021, the average price of pool It is at 78.22 euros, 145% more than the 31.9 euros for the same period of the previous year.
Behind this situation is the increase in the cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rights, and the international increase in gas prices, which according to the operators will continue to rise in the coming months.
According to the Iberian gas market operator Mibgas, this raw material will remain at the gates of 85 euros / MWh in October, 9.5% more, something that will foreseeably push the price of the pool.
The Government asks Europe for “shared decisions”
This situation is felt throughout Europe, to the point that Italy will close September with the highest price of the surrounding countries, 206.37 euros / MWh this Thursday. In fact, as reported this week by the Italian Energy, Networks and Environment Regulatory Authority, the electricity bill will increase by 29.8% in the fourth quarter in the wholesale market.
Although each country calculates its regulated tariff with different methods and references, what does happen throughout the European Union is that the wholesale price of electricity is set by the hour after matching the supply of the producers with the demand foreseen by the system manager. . It is carried out through a marginalist system that implies that the last technology to enter (generally, the most expensive) is the one that sets the price at which all the plants that provide energy at that time will be paid.
Spain has asked, without success for now, Brussels to review this system so that consumers can benefit from the lower production cost of renewables, or create a community platform that centralizes natural gas purchases and thus reduce exposure to volatility of the price of this resource.
Consumers Warn: May Affect Recovery
Associations such as the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) warn that the price of energy could begin to affect sectors such as tourism and hospitality, still in the process of recovering from the impact of the pandemic, as well as food.
In its latest energy barometer, the Association of Companies with High Energy Consumption (AEGE) highlights that for the electro-intensive industry, the producer of basic products, the prices of electrical energy “are a vital issue” since electricity represents the 50% of your production costs. According to its calculations and taking into account the measures contained in its Statute, AEGE estimates a price for this industry at the end of the year of € 116.44 / MWh, more than double that in France and about 36 euros more than in Germany.