Negative electricity prices on Saturday despite reactor shutdowns

Negative electricity prices on Saturday despite reactor shutdowns
Credit: Belga

Despite the temporary shutdown of the Tihange 3 and Doel 2 nuclear reactors, prices will be negative on Saturday on the Belgian electricity market.

Tihange 3, which has a capacity of 1,038 MW, experienced an unplanned shutdown on Monday and is not expected to restart before 15 October, while Doel 2's shutdown, also unexpected, began on Thursday. Doel 2 should restart by noon on Saturday, but the reactor will initially run at just a third of its 445-MW capacity.

Despite the temporary closures, the day-ahead reference prices for electricity on the Belgian market will be negative on Saturday.

On Friday, electricity was priced on average at €140.66 per MWh, but for Saturday between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., the average price is below zero: €-76.

Negative electricity prices occur when production is curtailed and/or consumers are paid to take surplus generation.

The reason for the price drop on Saturday is that the production of renewable energies should be significant, with a sunny day and mild temperatures. In other words, had Doel 2 and Tihange 3 been up and running, prices would have been even lower.

Natural gas prices are also going down. On the day-ahead market, the price of natural gas even fell this week to €80 per MWh.

Gas reserves are currently full and temperatures relatively mild.

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