Two months after the introduction of the gas price cap on the electricity market, we can say that the mechanism is working. A device intended to facilitate the transition from rising gas prices to the electricity bill has managed to contain this rise, although less than expected, and has prevented Spain from being one of the most expensive countries at least expensive. East. Electricity prices in Spain are now three times lower than the average for major European countries. However, its success has also been hampered by low fuel costs, as the Iberian gas market (MiBGas) has split from the European benchmark market (Dutch TTF) in recent weeks. In historical comparison, electricity is still ten times more expensive than it was before the tensions with Russia.
Between June 15 and August 15, electricity prices on the Spanish wholesale market were recorded at an average of 254.74 euros per megawatt-hour (MW-hour) – the sum of the pool price and compensation -, which is 35% more than the average for the first month of the Iberian market operator. For this mechanism to come into effect (May 15 to June 14), according to OMIE data. At the same time, the average growth of the six main European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) was 102%. In other words, the price increase in Spain is three times lower than the average for these countries. “I qualify countries between the first and second division. In second place were always the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain, and in first place the rest. Well, France is in second place and the UK and Spain came out on top,” says Francisco Valverde, energy expert and consultant at Manta Energia.
What would the price be without the cap? It is difficult to calculate this. According to the estimates made by this media, which coincide with the calculations published daily by the Ministry of Ecological Transitions, if the Iberian exception were not present, we could speak of an average price of 299.99 Euro MWh, 17 out of the last two months. 7% more than currently. However, these are paper accounts and are not a real market simulation. “I think from the above, generators are not offered in the same way. Although I can’t prove it, if I was a generator and the rules were changed, I would have changed the way I offer,” Valverde warned.
taking into account the reception
And how is this reflected in the monthly bill? According to the calculations of José Luis Sancha, professor at the Pontificia de Comillas University, a regulated tariff consumer (PVPC), who paid a bill of 100 euros in March, will pay 81.23 euros in July, the amount he achieved 14% less in comparison. would have been paid continuously.
Experts agree prices are not falling as expected as the system operates amid a “perfect storm” created by drought and loss of wind, high demand from sustained heat waves and a increase in exports to France. which does not include compensation) and the “unforeseen” impact of the start-up costs of combined cycle plants, according to consultant Afri Javier Revuelta.
“When the wind returns and the water improves its performance towards the expected prices, the pool will have around €130 per MWh (the average auction price over the last two months was €145), but it will not be 50 or 60 Euro MWh”, indicates Revuelta, which expects prices to remain high. This winter, he explains, gas will be “very, very expensive”, but later Europe will have to to buy gas again to fill storage, thereby driving down prices.The pressure will continue.
It also didn’t help that cogeneration plants (large industry-related thermal power plants that burn gas to produce steam and electricity and sell the surplus back to the system) don’t receive compensation. , as do combined cycles, Carlos According to the head of Martin Grana. Works at Enerjoin “They have to produce at a loss – they pay the market price for gas, but they are only paid 40 euros cap without compensation – and that is why most have decided to stop.” Instead, more is generated from the gas,” says Grana. Cogeneration produced 11% of the electricity; The rate was 4.3% in July.
Even with a normal pool, without gas capping, experts agree that the price of electricity will be lower than in other countries because the price of fuel in Spain (Mibagas) differs from the European benchmark ( Dutch TTF). has occurred. Today it is less than 35%. The reason for this is “the Iberian Peninsula’s ability to supply itself with liquefied natural gas, which means that we are less at the mercy of Russian gas collapses and blockages”, explains Alesoft, director of analysis and modeling at Oryol Salto. “In the end, all markets are financial. And as long as you have energy, a good (raw material) can cost 1, 2 or 3, but when there is none, the price is whatever you want,” explains Carlos Martin Grana.