August has stunned power industry professionals and consumers alike. This month is surely one for the record books! At $257.75/MWh the month averaged more than $100/ MWh higher than any previous month in Alberta’s 22 year deregulated history. In contrast, August 2021 settled just $82.25 or less than 1/4 the price of August 2022. One weather observer noted that it was the hottest August Calgary has had (in terms of daytime high average) since August 1971. Demand in the province was strong with load averaging 9839 MW—6% higher load than we saw in August 2021. In previous letters we’ve highlighted that very hot (and cold) periods rarely have high wind speeds so the extreme temperatures exacerbated what was already a seasonally low wind month. With very little wind generation, thermal generation was left to make up the difference which resulted in materially higher prices.
This offers no consolation to Alberta electricity consumers who have an abundance of natural gas within their borders, but European countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Denmark, France and the U.K who are suffering from potential gas shortages, all saw certain daily prices in August settle over 600 Euros/MW.
The heat of August 2022 in Alberta caused a re-pricing of risk with the market believing this scenario, or something akin to it, could hap-pen again. Prices for future terms are up dramatically as a result. From late July to late August 2022, power prices for the 2023 term rock-eted up 10%, and 8 %, for 2023 and 2024, respectively. In early September, this trend upward has continued.
Read Campus Energy’s market update for September here.