European electricity prices shot up, came down, and are surging again

When Russia invaded Ukraine, average European electricity prices briefly leapt above $500 per megawatt-hour, then leveled out around $180 over the last few months. Now the price is almost $300, more than triple the price at this time last year, according to intelligence firm Rystad Energy. In the UK, average household energy bills for 2022 could exceed $4,000, which would be almost double last year.

High electricity prices are also a dangerous and costly health hazard, the Red Cross warned, to the extent that cooling and heating become unaffordable. Nearly 3,000 people are killed by heat-related illness in Europe annually—a figure that European officials project could increase 10-fold by 2050 as a result of climate change.

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