Technology group Wärtsilä’s Energy Transition Lab, developed to provide analysis into the energy market in Europe, is showcasing insight into Europe’s evolving electricity market landscape and, with it being updated weekly, is also providing insight into what is happening in the market during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was indicated by speakers during a virtual session hosted by Wärtsilä on May 19.
Speakers noted that the current situation presented a “snapshot” of what the future of energy systems could be.
The lab has identified record renewable share levels, lower demand, considerably lower prices, challenging times for baseload generation and more profit for energy storage installations.
While electricity prices on the continent have fallen substantially, the price volatility in the market has increased, speakers noted.
It was explained that, in Europe, the load has decreased considerably, while there is a high share of renewables, at a level that was expected to come to fruition only five to ten years into the future.
On a year-on-year basis, there is more capacity in the market; coupled with more renewable energy that is generating electricity zero price cost across the continent, both of which are driving prices down.
However, owing to there being more intermittent generation with the load down considerably, there is a considerable volatility in prices – prices are down, but are more unpredictable than experienced in the past.
Speakers noted that flexible assets like energy storage are benefiting from the situation, with data indicating close to 30% increase in profits for energy storage installations in the UK in 2020 compared with 2019, for example.