Power: Nov18- 22: Markets stretch gains bolstered by incremental demand
Electricity prices in Japan's wholesale markets remained firm in the week ended November 22, resulting from a gradual increase in power usage for heating equipment amid intermittent cold snaps.
Based on the Rim Power Index (Day ahead 24 hours), the weekday power prices in the eastern market, including Hokkaido, Tohoku and Tokyo area, averaged out at 9.51 yen per kilowatt hour (kWh), up 0.40 yen/kWh or 4.4% from the prior week, meanwhile prices in the western, made up of Chubu, Hokuriku, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu area, at 7.62 yen/kWh, up 0.15 yen/kWh, or 2.0%. The premium of Hokkaido against Tokyo shrunk to 1.26 yen from the prior week's 4.61 yen/kWh, with Hokkaido's average 10.67 yen/kWh (prior week's ave:13.36 yen) and Tokyo's 9.41 yen/kWh (8.75 yen), which are calculated from data compiled by the Japan Electric Power Exchange. In the northernmost main island, a brand-new gas-fired plant, with a 570 megawatts output, resumed operations on Nov 19, appearing to solve the drastic interruption in power supply. Additionally, the difference between the western average and Kyushu's narrowed to 0.37 yen/kWh from 0.76 yen/kWh seen in the prior week, with western's 7.47 yen/kWh and Kyushu's 6.71 yen/kWh.
In eastern Japan, Tokyo's minimum temperatures for the weekdays were projected at 6 to 12 degrees Celsius by the Japan Meteorological Agency on a day ahead basis, compared to the prior week's range of 8 to 13 deg C. Maximum temperatures of Osaka in western Japan were forecasted at 13 to 22 deg C against the prior's 16 to 21 deg C. However, when forecast temperatures were at low levels, solar power plants were expected to provide ample electricity under sunny weather condition in both eastern and western Japan, limiting price gains.
On the Japan Electric Power Exchange (JEPX), the weekday average of System Price (Day ahead 24 hours), which are computed based on the data of 9 areas, moved up by 0.52 yen/kWh or 6.5% to 8.49 yen/kWh, with the average volume growing by 34,560 megawatt per hour (MWh) to 803,110 MWh.
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