October 3, 2016 / 10:41 AM / in a year

EUROPE POWER-Forwards rise on lingering French nuclear concern, carbon

* Carbon prices jump over 8 pct on Monday

* Oil over $50 per barrel

* Day-ahead spot prices rise on strong demand

PARIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - European forward electricity prices rose on Monday supported by firmer carbon emission prices, lingering concerns over French nuclear power availability and cold weather as oil rose above $50 per barrel.

Year-ahead electricity contracts hit one-year highs last week over reports that France might prolong planned maintenance stoppages at 12 of its 58 nuclear reactors in the coming months for additional checks.

France, a net exporter of power in Europe, depends on nuclear power for 75 percent of its electricity needs. Extended outages at its nuclear facilities could tighten supply in the region as winter approaches.

“Weather forecasts turned significantly colder for next week across north west Europe,” a trader said. “Some nuclear plants were delayed in France and emissions are much stronger.”

The German benchmark Cal‘17 year-ahead baseload contract rose over 2 percent to 29.40 euros ($33.01) a megawatt hour (MWh).

The less liquid equivalent French contract gained 1.25 euros or 3.29 percent to 39.50 euros/MWh, having opened at a high of 39.6 euros in early trading.

Carbon prices, which utilities take into consideration in the cost of power generation especially from coal, were also up on Monday. Front-year EU carbon allowances jumped over 8 percent to 5.38 euros a tonne.

Coal, which accounts for more than 40 percent of German power generation, pulled back somewhat on Monday, down 1.93 percent at $63.30. The benchmark 2017 coal futures contract was still above an 18-month high.

Oil, which influences other energy prices, rose to its highest since August above $50 a barrel on Monday, supported by a planned production cut by exporter club OPEC, although analysts cautioned the stubbornness of the existing supply overhang could temper a longer-lasting rally.

In the day-ahead electricity market, prices rose on Monday, boosted by strong demand despite increased wind power output.

German Monday baseload power price for Tuesday delivery gained 3 euros to 30.8 euros/MWh compared with 34 euros paid for Monday delivery. The French contract was slightly sideways at 43.75 euros /MWh compared with 44 euros paid for Monday delivery.

Combined power demand for Germany and France on Tuesday is forecast at 118.6 gigawatts (GW) compared with 103.2 GW the previous day, while German wind power output is expected to rise by 7 GW on Monday.

In eastern Europe, the Czech year-ahead 2017 contract was untraded, having closed at 29.90 euros/MWh. The spot price for Tuesday, was up 5.8 percent at 44.50 euros/MWh, compared with the settled price on Friday. ($1 = 0.8906 euros) (Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Susan Thomas)

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