Electricity prices in Italy surge 30% in a week
Energy prices across the EU have been surging, raising the prospect of higher household bills as the bloc prepares for another winter with drastically reduced Russian natural gas supplies.
The cost of electricity in Italy jumped nearly 30% in the week from August 21 to August 27, reaching €138 per megawatt hour (MWh).
According to estimates by research group Nomisma Energia, starting from October 1, Italian families could face a 7% to 10% hike in their electricity bills. It cited rising gas prices as the major cause, as Italy is one of the most natural gas-dependent countries in the EU.
The president of Nomisma Energia, Davide Tabarelli, warned on Tuesday that “if prices remain at these levels, it is inevitable that they will be reflected in an increase in future electricity bills.”
According to Tabarelli, as quoted by Italy 24 Press News, “projections for next winter indicate international prices are 40% higher than current ones and, if they materialize, gas tariffs for the winter could be 20% higher than current levels.”
Elsewhere in the EU, energy costs have also continued to climb, with the average wholesale electricity price in Estonia rocketing by 93% to €153.39 per MWh in the last week. Prices in both Latvia and Lithuania soared 23% to €142.58 per MWh.
Electricity prices in the EU surged last year following the bloc’s decision to heavily restrict Russian oil and gas and fully ban coal supplies, as part of its sanctions policy.
France, which was once a net power exporter to the EU, had to rely heavily on electricity imports from neighboring countries last winter. Many of its nuclear power plants, which accounted for 70% of the country’s electricity output, have been offline for maintenance. On Monday, Paris extended permission for power generating companies to burn more coal in the coming months, in order to prevent shortages this winter.
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