Electricity and gas prices on the French wholesale market returned for the first time to their level before Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
The price of electricity for the first quarter of 2023 fell back below 300 euros per megawatt hour (MWh, 1000 kilowatt hours), reaching 288 euros on Thursday.
Or a division by two since the beginning of December.
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Main factor in this development, the price of gas in France was almost halved also over the period, falling to 83 euros on Thursday.
A level not seen since February 23.
This is due to warmer temperatures, still very large gas stocks and, above all, a
"destruction of demand"
, as experts say.
Gas consumption has fallen by 20% in recent weeks in Europe.
The same phenomenon can be observed for electricity in France, although to a lesser extent (-10%), which also pulls prices down.
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Above all, RTE revised its winter forecasts for the month of January, which reassured the electricity markets.
The high-voltage network manager lowered the alert level for rotating blackouts, thanks to the gradual return to the network of reactors shut down for maintenance and repair.
“The worst-case scenario is ruled out
,” explains Emeric de Vigan, vice-president power at Kpler.
As a result, the risk premium linked to the distrust of market players towards EDF and its ability to restart its nuclear power plants has melted like snow in the sun since the beginning of December.
In October, the price of electricity was more than twice that observed on the other side of the Rhine.
It is more "only" a few tens of euros.
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This fall in the price of electricity is good news for consumers.
Part of the tariff invoiced by suppliers to businesses depends on electricity prices in November and December.
But price levels still remain very high in absolute terms, four times more expensive than before the start of the energy crisis which began in the fall of 2021.