EUROPE POWER-Germany’s gas alarm sends curve contracts to record highs

FRANKFURT, June 23 (Reuters) – European power curve benchmarks set new records on Thursday as Germany triggered the “alarm phase” of its gas emergency plan in response to the decline in Russian supply while halting before allowing utilities to pass on soaring energy costs to customers.

Gas generated 15% of electricity in Germany last year and the government now wants to reserve more gas for industrialists.

Germany is seeking to buy more gas from Russia, build more storage and use more coal-fired power plants, increasing demand for carbon emission allowances. Berlin says it is under “economic attack” from Russia.

German baseload power for the year ahead rose 6.3% to 259.40 euros ($272.50) per megawatt hour (MWh) at 1000 GMT after the economy ministry announced the move .

The equivalent French contract settled at a record 323 euros, up 2.9%.

Russian gas flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and through Ukraine have remained steady, although well below levels pumped before the war in Ukraine.

Coal for delivery to Northern Europe in 2023 had closed at its highest level since March 2 at $263.5 a tonne.

European CO2 allowances for the December 2022 expiry remained broadly unchanged at around 81.80 euros per tonne.

Spot power fell due to lower demand as high temperatures eased and with more wind power on the cards.

The German base load fell 6.2% to 281.5 euros, and the equivalent French price fell 12.2% to 316 euros.

Daily wind power generation in Germany is expected to reach 11.2 gigawatts (GW) day after day, up from 4.9 GW, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

French nuclear availability remained at 51.4% of available capacity, while German and Swiss reactors returned to the network.

Electricity consumption in Germany fell from 800 MW to 56.9 GW and in France from 900 MW to 45 GW.

Grid company TenneT will launch a tender for planned investments in sea-to-land offshore wind connections in the Netherlands and Germany.

($1 = 0.9519 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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