(Adds EDF shares, forward prices)
PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) - European spot electricity prices for next-day delivery fell on Wednesday due to an increase in wind power output, despite weather forecasts showing temperatures easing sharply from previous day highs in France.
* The German baseload power price for Thursday delivery was down 1.25 euros or 3.79 percent at 31.75 euros ($35.23) per megawatt-hour (MWh), clawing back some earlier losses after opening at 31 euros.
* The equivalent French contract fell 2.69 percent to 32.50 euros/MWh.
* Electricity demand is forecast to rise slightly in France by just over 100 megawatts on Thursday to about 47 gigawatts (GW) as average temperature is expected to fall by 3.4 degrees Celsius after two days of scorching heat.
* The increase in demand, however, and a planned strike in the French gas and electricity sector starting on Wednesday evening, which could curb power production, were not enough to lift prices.
* French wind power production will rise by 1.1 GW to 2.6 GW on Thursday, while nuclear power availability, which accounts for over 75 percent of French electricity needs, is seen steady at over 72 percent of capacity.
* Environmental campaigner Nicolas Hulot was appointed ecology minister in the new French government on Wednesday, news that sent the share price of state-controlled nuclear power group EDF down nearly 7 percent.
* In Germany, power consumption will rise by 420 MW to 68.7 GW on Thursday. This will be met by a sharp increase in wind power generation on the supply side. Power from German wind turbines will rise by nearly 4 GW to 7.8 GW.
* Although solar production will fall by over 1 GW, availability is forecast at over 7 GW on Thursday.
* On forward power curve, the German Cal ‘18 benchmark rose 0.66 percent to 29.15 euros/MWh, tracking gains in coal, carbon and gas prices.
* The equivalent French power contract added 0.56 percent to 35.60 euros/MWh.
* French year-ahead prices for 2019 and 2020 deliveries posted strong gains, up 1.86 percent and 2.03 percent respectively, tracking gains in oil and gas, one trader said.
* Dec’ 17 expiry EU carbon gained 1.98 percent to 4.63 euros a tonne, while coal cif North Europe for 2018 added 1.32 percent to $65.60 a tonne.
* In eastern Europe, the Czech day-ahead contract for Wednesday fell 7.25 percent to 32 euros/MWh. The year-ahead contract was untraded. ($1 = 0.9011 euros) (Reporting by Bate Felix, editing by Ed Osmond and Susan Thomas)