According to Eurogas, gas consumption in the European Union is likely to increase in next year. However, the start of new gas-fired power plants from Greece to Ireland is expected to help in cutting power and emissions prices.

As reported, gas plants emit about half the carbon dioxide of plants fired by coal and they are also cheaper to build.

Chris Panton, senior energy trader at KIH Energy Trading, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview: “Any new gas-fired plants coming online will be bearish for the whole energy complex because the preferred fuel will shift more from coal to gas. It will have a softening effect on the first quarter” power prices.”

Centrica plans to complete its 885MW Langage plant in the UK by the end of the year. The company has already tested the unit last month. According to E.ON, commercial operations of its 830MW Irsching-5 facility in Germany will begin in the first quarter of 2010 at the latest.