European electricity and gas prices rise 40% due to Russian invasion of Ukraine

European electricity and gas prices rise 40% due to Russian invasion of Ukraine
Photo by Mykola Makhlai on Unsplash

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing prices for electricity and natural gas in Europe to go through the roof again. The price of electricity in Belgium is even reaching record highs.

For delivery in March, the gas price goes up 40%, to about €125 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The price for the supply of electricity is also rising some 40%, to €300 per MWh, reports the Belga News Agency.

According to energy trader Matthias Detremmerie of hedge supplier Elindus, energy traders in Europe have been hoarding "for fear that the complete drying up of Russian gas imports, or potential damage to the gas network towards Europe, would further widen the conflict."

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Traders are afraid that sanctions imposed by the West against Russia might soon lead to Russian retaliation. On Thursday, that is not yet the case. In fact, Russian gas exports – across all European borders – were 10% higher compared to Wednesday.

Additionally, prices for next-day deliveries of electricity and gas in Europe are also shooting up, rising by as much as 50%. Energy prices are now at their highest level since mid-December, when fears of shortages led to historically high prices.

Meanwhile, Belgium is not escaping the fierce price increases: on the Belgian wholesale market, historically high prices will be reached on Friday during the evening hours – between 22:00 and 24:00 hours: €378 per MWh. At around 19:00, even €463 per MWh will have to be paid: the second-highest electricity price ever for the country.

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