Spain-Portugal congestion income up by 554pc in March

  • : Electricity
  • 24/04/19

The spread between the Spanish and Portuguese spot index prices has widened in the first quarter of 2024, with Portugal clearing at the lowest price in Europe in March, Iberian power exchange Omie reported.

Spanish and Portuguese day-ahead market prices have cleared at larger spreads between them compared with the first quarter of 2023, Omie data show. Congestion income between the two at times of decoupling more than doubled on the year in January, but fell in February. March registered the largest decoupling, supporting congestion income to 554pc compared with February, and was up by 172pc from March 2023.

Negotiated output in the intra-day market auctions increased by 19.6pc on the month, and rose by 10pc from March last year. But lower prices pushed economic volume down by 43pc on the month, and by almost 76pc on the year.

The volume of negotiated power in the day-ahead market in the first quarter of 2024 was up by 5.49TWh from the same period in 2023. March accounted for the largest increase, rising to 21.52TWh from 19.39TWh in March 2023.

1Q24 spot index price down

Spot index prices rose by €4.64/MWh on the year in January, but fell during the rest of the first quarter.

February cleared at an average discount to the previous year of €93.92/MWh, and March of €70.02/MWh. Combined the first quarter of 2024 has cleared below half of the same period in 2023.

Portugal cleared at the lowest average price among European day-ahead market indexes in March, followed by Spain at a €1.03/MWh premium.

The Spanish spot has cleared at an average of €5.82/MWh so far in April, sharply below the €73.77/MWh it cleared at in April 2023. This is also below expectations in the over-the-counter (OTC) market, as the April contract expired at €23.55/MWh at the end of March. The Spanish spot also cleared below zero for the first time.

Gas-fired output down, hydropower generation up

CCGT generation has averaged 2.6GW in the first quarter of 2024, down from 4GW in the same quarter last year.

Average nuclear output also fell by 800MW to 6GW compared with the same period. And the trend has continued so far in April, with nuclear generation averaging 4.9GW, down from 6.3GW in April 2023. Solar photovoltaic (PV) output increased by around 240MW, while wind generation remained similar to the previous year's levels. Operational wind capacity increased to 30.29GW from 30.18GW over the quarter, and PV to 25.22GW from 25.16GW.

Hefty rainfall over the first quarter has supported an increase of hydropower output by 1.5GW. And the trend of higher hydropower generation has carried on so far in April, supported by stocks at around 75pc, the highest in a decade. Hydropower has averaged 6.2GW so far in April from 2.36GW in the same month in 2023. But wind generation is down by around 500MW compared with the same period last year.

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