Here is a price comparison table from The European Energy Portal.
We can do a little analysis of relative electricity prices in Europe.
Highest prices are in Denmark closely followed by Germany. France is the lowest in Western Europe and Bulgaria is the lowest overall.
- The Danish pay well over twice the price for their electricity compared to the French.
- The Germans pay 190% more for electricity than the French, i.e. nearly double.
- The Italians pay 49% more for their electricity than the French
- The Spanish pay 43% more for their electricity than the French. Half as much again.
- The British pay 12% more than the French.
It is interesting to correlate these price differences to installed generation capacity.
- The Danes are the world leaders per head of population in installed wind power. They also have, by far the most expensive electricity in Europe.
- Germany has the largest European installation of wind power. It is number two is this highest priced electricity in Europe
- Spain is close on Germany's heels for installed capacity. Their prices though are a little more reasonable, they are tenth in the price league table.
- Italy comes a poor third on total installed wind capacity but like the Spanish, they cough up half as much again as the French.
What does this tell us?
Well, I think that the overriding fact is that French Nuclear power (80% of French Electricity generation is nuclear) provides by far, the cheapest electricity in Europe.
Interestingly, the French have the fourth largest number of wind turbines in Europe but like Italy (No 3) and the UK (No 5) this number is about one quarter of that in Germany and Spain.
Compared to Denmark, France (like Italy and the UK) has less than one tenth of the installed number of turbines per head of population.
It would militate that when installed wind power capacity gets above a certain percentage, the price to the consumer sky-rockets. It also shows that wind power is the inflationary driver behind electricity price hikes all across Europe. Generally the more turbines per head of population, the higher your electricity bills are. French prices are driven low by nuclear. If they dispensed with their windmills then their prices would probably be even less.
But the above table contains another really disgraceful truth.
Compare the prices for all of the above nations for a low level user (left column) and a high level user (right column).
You will find that in most countries, including Denmark, Germany, Spain, France and the UK, the high level user gets a discount. In Western Europe, only Italy and the Netherlands charge more for profligate useage.
Surely, if we are trying to cut down on energy useage, we should stop having the smaller users subsidising the higher users.
In other words, why do we have pensioners and the thrifty, subsiding the extravagance of the well-off or careless?
Is that not basic common sense that we should reward energy thift, no punish it?
Sadly, sometime in the last few months the European Energy Portal appears to have removed the comparison tables on national electricity and gas prices. It now only publishes comparison tables on petrol/diesel/lpg. I would suspect that the freely available data has been censored as it seriously undermined EU policy. As this post is now 3 years old I hope to update it in the near future when I identify another straight-forward source of pricing information. (red rags bulls and all that)