EU Energy Monitor – Introduction
The motivation for creating an EU Electricity monitor page is a curiosity to understand better the dynamics in European Energy markets which unfolded in 2022. What story does the data tell for the reasons behind high electricity prices and low power generation?
What is broadly known is that Russia’s war in Ukraine and the cut-off of gas supplies to Europe have dramatically impacted gas prices and electricity prices. The reason for this is that gas is used for the supply of marginal baseload electricity. Marginal electricity prices jump when demand is high and other supplies, such as production from renewables, are tight .
However, what does the data tell us? Is it possible that energy infrastructure in Europe is under additional strain due to climate change and extreme weather events?
Will the supply side be able to cope during autumn and winter when electricity demand rises traditionally and does the data give early insights into potential mismatch of supply and demand?
This page will be updated continuously, usually once per week, to give insight into the latest developments.
The source for graphs on this site is energy-charts.info , which provides very granular raw data and visualisation, albeit with no options to compare generation Year-on-Year time and between sources.
EU Electricity Production
In this regularly updated article, we are tracking the Electricity Production in the European Union to understand if there are any visible development explaining shortages in EU power generation and how the different generation sources affect the power supply.
We decided to group the data in monthly batches, as this allows for the most suitable comparison year-on-year; the raw data is hourly and fluctuates highly, as does daily data due to varying weather conditions for renewables.
Overall Electricity Production in the EU
The overall Electricity Production has declined slightly in 2022 from 2021 levels.
Interestingly, the bulk of declining production seems to be attributable to the maintenance of French Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) over the summer months and their emergency shutdowns due to a lack of cooling waters in rivers which was a direct consequence of extreme summer heat .
On energy-charts.info, it is possible to track the output of French NPPs in detail. However, it seems the output has not yet increased in September 2022, and EDF remains under strong pressure to increase production and promises to take all NPPs online over the next months .
The second interesting finding is that the production by Hydropower, specifically Hydro Run-of-River is down significantly YoY. .
Insofar it is clear that the extreme summer heat caused by climate change together with Russia’s attack on Ukraine has been the perfect storm to rock European Energy production in 2022. While Russia’s gas can and will be replaced, Climate change is steadily accelerating and the Energy infrastructure in Europe is likely to face the similar problems during subsequent summers of extreme heat.
The data below been aggregated for better legibility.
Detailed Electricity Production in the EU, by source
Looking at the details per source, it is interesting that nuclear and hydro production has declined markedly
It is surprising to see that in September, there has not yet been a reversal in this. Generation in NPPs will need to increase for the winter months to meet demand.
Current Electricity Grid Load in the EU, by source
In September, the overall grid load decline accelerated by more than 4 per cent year-on-year, likely in response to some industrial demand taken out from the market as Arcelor Mittal shut the second largest European steel plant [5, 6].
The EU grid load is slightly unbalanced with actual production, as more electricity is imported than exported, primarily from Norway and the U.K. .
A great visualisation of electricity import and exports is available on energy-charts.info
Total EU Electricity Production 2022, monthly, by source
Total EU Electricity Production 2021, monthly, by source
EU generation mix – Outlook 2022
Generation mix from gas
In response to the shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by Russia and EU sanctions on Russian gas supplies, one would have anticipated that the generation from gas would have declined.
However, the opposite was the case over the summer months. Power generation using gas increased in response to cover for baseload needs as Nuclear and Hydro generation declined.
Over the start of the autumn and winter heating season, it will be interesting to monitor if nuclear generation is going to pick up meaningfully, as promised by EDF.
The page will be updated regularly to monitor the generation change.
The risk here is that gas was used not only for heating in 2022 but for an ever-increasing share of baseload electricity generation. If this problem persists into the Winter, together with tight supplies, it could become a big problem.
This is an opinion, but I would like to include in nevertheless: I believe the best way of tackling this issue is individual responsibility and reduction of demand over the Winter from everyone, businesses and individuals.
Chart Data source: energy-charts.info – the site is operated by Fraunhofer ISE and is aggregating their data from various sources, for EU data the ultimate source is the ENTSOE Transparency Platform
Raw Data Google Sheet: you can access the Google Sheet we are using to aggregate the data, see the calculations, references and make a copy for your own purposes. Instructions included.
 Why Europe’s Electricity Prices Are Soaring, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/25/business/europe-electricity-prices.html
 EDF cuts output at nuclear power plants as French rivers get too warm https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/03/edf-to-reduce-nuclear-power-output-as-french-river-temperatures-rise
 France’s EDF under pressure to end all outages of nuclear reactors, FT (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/4bdff2aa-7b50-4bcf-a9b3-eda0d449b7a2
 Droughts rattle Europe’s hydropower market, intensifying energy crisis, S&P global: https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/080522-droughts-rattle-europes-hydropower-market-intensifying-energy-crisis
 ArcelorMittal to shut blast furnace in German plant as gas prices soar, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/arcelormittal-shut-blast-furnace-german-plant-gas-prices-soar-2022-09-02/
 More smelters face closure as Europe enters power-starved winter, FT (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/0906df5d-1b92-4de1-95d6-3ae7b1055897
 Britain’s power grid provides electricity lifeline to Europe, FT (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/517f2786-2acf-4d28-9dc7-fc5db835479een