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European rivers run dry, what could this mean for the GO market?

Nordic Hydro GO price development

In July, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre published its “Drought in Europe – July 2022” report, which assessed Europe’s drought situation. According to the report, several regions within Europe have been experiencing severe drought since the beginning of the year which continues to expand and worsen.

This article aims to assess the current situation, how it has impacted hydro production across Europe, and what this could mean for associated Guarantees of Origin supply and pricing in 2022.

European waters run dry

Temperatures across the Western and Southern parts of Europe continue to soar, hitting levels above 40 degrees Celsius in July and, combined with low precipitation levels across the continent, have impacted river discharges across Europe.

These historically high drought levels have significantly reduced hydro reservoir levels across the continent which has resulted in lower-than-normal production and in some cases caused the suspension of hydroelectric and thermoelectric power production operations across countries.

According to the report by the European Commission around 44% of the EU and 9% of the UK is under a drought warning and drought alert respectively. As per Figure 1 below when compared to previous months drought hazards have been increasing in the Mediterranean region (central and southern Italy, southern Greece, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and the Iberian Peninsula), Western Germany and other neighbouring countries like France and the Netherlands etc.

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