(Greg Molnar) The road to recovery? European gas demand was up 3% yoy in Q3, and electricity consumption climbed back to last year’s levels in September for the first time since the covid outbreak.
Gas-fired power generation has been rapidly recovering following the lifting of lockdowns, primarily driven by three factors:
(1) Extended nuclear outages in France and Belgium due to covid and drought (in August);
(2) Extensive coal-to-gas switching in Germany, fuelled by gas prices averaging below $3/mmbtu and carbon recovering close to €30/t;
(3) Turkey putting offline lignite plants not meeting environmental standards boosted gas-fired powgen in the country by over 33%.
During the same period, TTF prices more than tripled, and we now see some of the first switch-back happening in Germany, with coal and lignite regaining market share and pointing to the limits of this fragile recovery.
Gas markets will continue to face an unprecedented uncertainty this winter with the usual weather-exposure now coupled with the risk of (partial) lockdowns.
We will discuss some of these recent market trends and present our short-term outlook in our upcoming GGSR/Quarterly Gas Report next week. Stay tuned!
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