Article 10 of the new European regulation on the internal electricity market states that «there will be no upper limit or lower limit for wholesale prices of electricity», although the operators of the respective markets (OMIE, in the case of Spain) «may apply harmonized limits to the maximum and minimum matching prices» in the daily and intraday markets.
The maximum limit, as Cinco Días has forecast, will be approved in Spain and Portugal (both countries operate the Iberian MIBEL market) from the current 180 €/MWh up to a ceiling of 3,000 €/MWh. The minimum, which is currently zero euros, would go to -500 €/MWh, according to the president of OMIE, Carmen Becerril.
What will generators be willing to pay to produce energy? Jorge Morales de Labra, director of GeoAtlanter and member of the Fundación Renovables, points out two assumptions: nuclear power plants, whose shutdown and start-up has a high cost, and the oldest renewable energy plants in Spain, which are those that have a guaranteed premium besides receiving the market price.
Kim Keats, Director at EKON Strategy Consulting, adds another possibility: renewable plants that sign long-term power supply contracts (known as PPAs) at a guaranteed price in advance. This would include future construction facilities that sell their production at market price (without premium).
However, some consultants also doubts that, if negative prices are allowed in Spain, they will end up appearing. It alludes to what in the sector is called «complex offers»: In theory, we have the same price formation algorithm for all of Europe, but OMIE has «complex offers» that «no one else uses «in Europe and that can be incorporated into the matching under certain conditions (indivisibility, minimum income, scheduled shutdown, production capacity or load gradient …).