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The Euro 2024 Energy Championship: England vs Slovenia

June 25th, 2024
England v Slovenia flags

Ahead of the England vs Slovenia match on March 29, Market Experts Fintan Devenney and Jean-Paul Harreman compare the generation types making up the fuel mix of both countries.

Slovenia, like many of its Balkan neighbours, is a relatively small market. However, unlike its fellow Balkan states, its positioning at the eastern end of the Alps means it is well placed for hydroelectric power plants. Around a third of the market’s power comes from hydro power, with another third coming from a single nuclear plant in Krško. Built as a joint venture by Slovenia and Croatia in 1983, when both nations were still a part of Yugoslavia, the power station provides a baseload ~700MW of power to Slovenia.

Being a small country, the influence of adjacent markets is significant. Football players often leave the country at a young age, just like how power gets exported towards Croatia, Austria, Hungary and Italy from the hydro plants. Their players have built up experience in larger leagues and hope to bring this experience to the national team, so what would be the weakness of the squad versus the England squad?

It looks like it’s probably the squad depth; if one key player is not delivering or gets injured, the quality of the team decreases quite significantly. This is quite similar to the Slovenian power market which can be sensitive to outages of key units. While there is a surplus of generation which leads to exports most of the time, when the Krško nuclear plant was unavailable throughout April, Slovenia became dependent on imports, significantly decreasing its stability. Krško is now back online, Jan Oblak is on form, it is sure to be interesting!

England, meanwhile, as part of the GB power market, is a powerhouse of wind energy, with record wind output of almost 22GW in December 2023 which represented over half of domestic demand at the time. However, there has been some discussion around the design of the market and how more appropriate price signals can be sent to wind farms to incentivise further buildout.

The Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) is well underway which seeks to address underlying inefficiencies in the GB power market. Though the final specification has yet to be confirmed, there are indications that the market may switch to using zonal pricing. Other aspects of the market, such as the Balancing Mechanism, the Contracts for Difference scheme and Ancillary Services market are also under review, so it’s certainly all to play for in GB!

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