A combination of record-breaking natural gas prices, rising coal prices, and droughts across Europe are putting the EU electricity market under massive pressure. French utility EDF has had to significantly reduce the capacity utilization rate of its nuclear power plants due to reduced water availability for cooling. Hydropower capacity has also fallen due to drought, while low water levels in the Rhine mean shipping volumes are falling too. Energy markets and nature seem to have it in for Europe. Record-breaking gas prices, rising coal prices, and droughts that interfere with electricity generation in some key markets have combined to push electricity contracts in the EU to record highs as uncertainty about the coming winter deepens. Reuters reported earlier this week that a number of power forward contracts traded in the EU hit highs because of what increasingly looks like a perfect energy storm, affecting every energy source in one […]