COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Impact on Central-East Europe and South-East Europe Power Market and Renewable Energy Development Plans


/24th April 2020, by Renewable Market Watch™/


The energy prices in Central-East Europe (CEE) and South-East Europe (SEE) countries plunged to record lows in March 2020 and early April 2020. For example in Romania, the standard petrol price has fallen to about €0.9/litre on April 10, compared to €1.2/litre in early March – a fall of about 25%. On the electricity Day-Ahead Market in Romania, low demand and significant contribution of wind power generation lowered the price from about €150/MWh at the beginning of March (before the current restrictions on the movement of people were imposed) to less than €100/MWh a month later. Similarly, the price of natural gas on the spot platform of the Romanian Commodities Exchange (BRM) fell to an average €9/MWh in the first 10 days of April from €12.5 a month before.

Furthermore, all of the CEE and SEE countries introduced not only drastic restrictions to mobility but many of them also a cap on the prices of utilities and fuels, at the price level of the issuance day – a restriction difficult to enforce, given that the wholesale markets from which those commodities are purchased by the suppliers are still operating competitively and transnationally. So far, though, the market prices themselves have stayed under the level of the newly imposed price ceiling. With the introduction of severe restrictions on mobility and industrial production across the EU, energy demand and GHG emissions have dropped considerably. This, however, will have a short-term effect, similar to the situation after the 2008-2009 crisis, after which both energy demand and emissions bounced back. Besides the depressed energy prices, another key aspect is the evolution of the EU ETS price, the main pillar of EU’s climate policies. As indicated above, the EUAs have dropped from €25 in February to just above €15 in mid-March 2020, bouncing back to €21 on April 9.

According to calculations of Renewable Market Watch™, since the state of emergency was declared in CEE and SEE countries, energy consumption decreased by some 7.8 %, while the decrease could reach 11 % by the middle of May 2020. We have to point out that recent legislative changes in some of the CEE and SEE countries introduced since the start of the pandemic outbreak already affected the energy market. The first examples of non-market practices are the orders, giving to small and medium enterprises the possibility to postpone their utility bills during the emergency period, without any provision related to any support for suppliers. The past few weeks revealed a distinct shift of the political rhetoric in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, echoing and amplifying pre-existent themes of populism and climate denialism, including calls to deprioritize or altogether scrap the EU climate action. In the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania, high-level officials and political party leaders started talking about the suspension of the European Green Deal for an unknown period.

The more information about solar PV and wind power markets in Central-East Europe (CEE) and South-East Europe (SEE), including full contact details of solar PV project owners and developers you may read here: Central East and South East Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Wind Power Market Outlooks 2020÷2030

For better understanding about benefits from using our reports you may read here: Benefit List - Reports of Renewable Market Watch 


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