Europe energy crisis: German and French power prices notch record highs ahead of Russia's next pipeline shutdown

Nord Stream 1 German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) stands next to Christian Bruch, President and CEO of Siemens Energy.SASCHA SCHUERMANN / Getty Images
  • German power prices, which is Europe's benchmark, jumped 17% to a record 750 euros a megawatt-hour for next year.

  • In France, prices for next year climbed 12% to also hit a record 880 euros a megawatt-hour.

  • Russia is set to halt Nord Stream 1 gas flows during a three-day maintenance period at the end of August.

Just days ahead of Russia's planned maintenance shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, both France and Germany saw power prices hit fresh records, according to Bloomberg data.

German power prices, which is Europe's benchmark, jumped 17% to a record 750 euros, or about $749, a megawatt-hour for next year.

French power prices for next year leapt 12% to 880 euros, or $879, a megawatt-hour following Electricite de France SA's announcement that some of its nuclear reactors will take longer than anticipated to return online. The outage impacts roughly 14% of France's nuclear capacity, per the report.

Europe's energy crisis has been exacerbated by Russia's natural gas halts and reductions. And next week, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will shut down again for maintenance. Gazprom has already slashed gas flows to just 20% of capacity, prompting accusations that Moscow is weaponizing energy supplies.

Dwindling supplies across the continent, as well as tighter hydropower and nuclear capacities, have pushed energy prices higher, leading to a scramble for alternative sources.

German utility Uniper said Monday it will revive a mothballed coal-fueled power plant to help generate more electricity starting next week.

But declining water levels on the Rhine river could result in a coal shortage this winter, Reuters reported, as the river is a key trade route for energy deliveries.

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