Bloomberg – Natural gas-fired power plants in Europe’s two biggest electricity users are earning utilities money again. German gas-fired plant profitability at times of peak demand turned positive on Dec. 7, rising to the highest since February 2012 on Thursday, while gas units that generate around the clock in France have been profitable for seven weeks, the longest stretch in four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That came after benchmark European gas prices fell 12 percent in 2016, extending last year’s 31 percent drop. “More gas plants are in the money at current power and gas prices,” said Omar Ramdani, head of analysis at RheinEnergie Trading GmbH in Cologne. “If it pays off for a gas plant to produce several hours and not a whole day, it is looking positive right now.” While gas produces about half the emissions of coal when used to generate electricity, making it a greener option to back up intermittent wind and solar output, the fuel has struggled to compete against more profitable coal, forcing utilities from EON SE to Statkraft AS to close gas units. The price of the cleaner fuel in Europe will probably fall further as cold weather ends and oil’s
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Source: CTRM Center