* French tight nuclear supply drives buying
* Gas, coal up on pre-winter covering, CO2 follows
* Spot jumps with curve, colder weather nearing
By Vera Eckert
FRANKFURT, Sept 29 European forward electricity
prices hit their highest levels in more than a year on Thursday
after a report that said France might extend nuclear outages,
which would tighten supply in the region as winter approaches.
A recovery in the prices of related fuels and a jump in the
carbon market also boosted prices, traders said.
Traders also cited higher crude oil prices after OPEC
members agreed to curb output on Wednesday, although oil
accounts for only a marginal amount of power generation.
"It all feels very bullish - fundamentals and sentiment -
and will continue this way, as operators work all these factors
in," one said.
The benchmark German Cal'17 year-ahead baseload
contract was at 30 euros ($33.67) a megawatt hour (MWh), up 1.7
percent at 0726 GMT, a level last seen in mid-August 2015.
The less liquid equivalent French contract rose 2
percent to 39.4 euros/MWh, also a level last seen in August
French state-controlled utility EDF is to carry out
more tests on 12 nuclear reactors during their planned outages
in the coming months in a carbon probe, which could affect the
length of the outages at some plants.
Germany and France are closely interconnected and any supply
gaps in France - where nuclear provides 75 percent of the power
- will encourage a flow of exports from Germany in that
direction, withdrawing supplies available to others in Europe.
The bullishness in power partly drove other prices higher as
utilities have to buy fuels and carbon certificates to cover
their generation output.
France's current nuclear availability of 61 percent is down
from nearly 70 percent a year earlier.
Front-year EU carbon allowances gained 5 percent
to 5.20 euros/MWh.
Coal, which has benefitted from a demand-driven global
upswing in prices, rose to $64.5 euros a tonnes, its highest
since February 2015. Coal accounts for more than 40 percent of
Germany's power generation.
In the spot market, power prices for next-day delivery rose
on retreating wind and solar supply and cooler weather
expectations for next week, which will lift consumption.
German baseload for Friday delivery jumped by 9.25
euros to 33.25 euros/MWh while the French contract
rose 1 euro to 40 euros/MWh.
As of 0705 GMT, UK day-ahead baseload power was up almost 30
percent at 46.75 pounds per megawatt-hour.
In eastern Europe, the Czech year-ahead 2017 contract
was untraded after a 29 euros/MWh close while
day-ahead power gained 1.8 euros to 38.80.
($1 = 0.8910 euros)
(Additional reporting by Nina Chestney in London; editing by