Heatwave: Electricity prices rise along with temperatures

Heatwave: Electricity prices rise along with temperatures
Credit: Eric Lalmand/Belga

The heatwave across Europe is also having an impact on electricity prices due to high demand for cooling systems, low wind speeds and the failure or limitations of some French nuclear power plants.

On the short-term market, the price of electricity supply for the next day in Belgium rose to €408.21 per megawatt-hour (MWh). Between 20:00 and 21:00 it will be over €680. In France, the price is €486 per MWh, which is very high, especially on a summer day, reports Belga News Agency.

The reason for this is the heatwave, which puts a high demand on cooling systems, while the low wind speeds slow down the wind turbines. Gas-fired power stations, therefore, have to run longer in the evening.

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Prices in Belgium are also influenced by France, where many nuclear power plants are currently down or unavailable. Additionally, the heat also prevents those that are still working from operating at full capacity: each power station has its own regulatory limits on the temperature of the water that must not be exceeded, in order not to heat up the surrounding waterways and to protect the fauna and flora. The plants pump water to cool the reactors before discharging it.

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