Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The funny thing in recent years, is that when power prices are high down on the continent, power lines work well and the price up here is pushed to the continental level. However, when prices for once are low down in Germany, the power links usually suffer mysterious breakdowns, or nuclear reactors suffer unexpected extended maintenance breaks, and so on. This has resulted in Swedish average power prices (in the completely non-transparent Nord Pool power exhange) actually being higher than those in Germany, in spite of radically lower production costs!

Why is this? Well, the power market in Sweden is an oligopoly controlled by Eon, Fortum and Vattenfall, who jointly own the nuclear stations. Vattenfall is wholly owned by the state and delivers fat annual dividends to the state coffers, and the higher the price of power, the more revenue electricity taxes bring in. No one, not power companies or the government, except consumers have an incentive in the market not being manipulated. And consumers have no pricing power what so ever.

Just sayin'.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:29:48 PM EST
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