ANYONE who still has some of the €1.61 billion in pesetas in coins and notes in their homes needs to change them into euros before the end of this year – or they will be stuck with them, the Bank of Spain recalls....
Electricity prices per MWh 'lowest in EU' this week
By thinkSPAIN Team Sat, Mar 31, 2018
ELECTRICITY in Spain became the cheapest in the European Union on Thursday and has remained so ever since – the second time this has happened in a fortnight.
Retail prices per megawatt per hour (MWh) dropped to €22.91 a week ago, then doubled on Wednesday, only to fall to €27.73 again the following day – a reduction of 37%.
This meant the price of energy in Spain fell far below those of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which typically register the lowest in the EU and the EEA at around €41 per MWh, and even below Germany, which beat the Scandinavian countries at €38.
Meanwhile, France recorded retail power prices of €44.90 and Belgium €48, and in Italy and the UK it more than doubled Spain at €52 and €58 respectively.
This plummeting in costs is partly due to a greater production in wind energy providing electricity to the national grid – with storms having re-entered Galicia from the Atlantic this week and now sweeping Spain as a whole, wind farms have seen energy generated soar by 62.7% this month compared with March last year, to 6,937 gigawatts per hour (GWh), or 32.9% of the total, way ahead of nuclear sources, which made up just 19.2% of the total power created.
Torrential rain across the mainland and Balearic Islands as a result of the string of storms since the start of the year mean hydraulic energy production has shot up, whilst combined sources only make up 5.9% of total power generated and coal just 5.4%.
Since the start of the year, electricity production has been made up of 26.5% wind – making this the main source for 2018 so far – 21.5% nuclear, 13.5% hydraulic, 12.2% coal and 8.5% combined sources, with generators providing 11%.
But low energy prices do not necessarily mean reduced bills – in Spain, only 35% of monthly or bi-monthly invoices for electricity are for actual consumption; the rest is charges and taxes.
Standing charges make up 40% and the remaining 25% is Electricity Tax and IVA.
The national government has frozen taxes and standing charges again for 2018, and mainstream State-run electricity boards, such as Iberdrola, charge by the hour, with their daily energy prices fixed a day in advance at around noon.
Overall, limiting consumption of electricity does little to save the householder money, although it does have long-term environmental benefits.
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