Report also warns energy companies might need support National governments and EU institutions should consider greater flexibility to allow specialised personnel to travel for inspection, operation and maintenance of critical installations and ensure that control centres and plants remain sufficiently staffed, a report on Europe’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has said.

The report, published by electricity industry group Eurelectric, says energy companies needs support to tackle the financial pressure resulting from government decisions to postpone the payment of invoices.

It says European investment plans and economic recovery programmes should be fully compatible with EU climate objectives and support electrification and decarbonisation of the EU economy by targeting investment in technologies critical for the energy transition.

The report concludes that the pandemic has affected electricity demand differently across markets.

In Germany changes have been minimal. France and Italy have seen a significant drop in demand of about 20%. Wholesale prices have dropped across the EU to around €20/MWh in most countries. Carbon prices have dropped by some 40%.

“Even if there are currently no system-threatening situations at hand, the power sector is naturally impacted by the restrictions introduced by EU governments to combat the spread of the virus,” the report says. “Low prices, government interventions and customers struggling to pay will inevitably affect the balance sheets of utilities.”

Date: Wednesday, 08 April 2020
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