Electricity consumption drops 12% in April and natural gas 26%

Data released by REN

Electricity consumption dropped 12% in April, according to data from REN, which states that it is necessary to go back to August 2014 to find a monthly consumption as low as last month.

If energy consumption is accounted for correcting the effects of temperature and the number of working days in the month, the fall in April was even greater, 13,8% compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the natural gas market, in April, national consumption fell by 26%, with a decrease of 13% in the conventional segment (domestic consumption) and a reduction of 66% in the electricity production segment, according to REN – National Energy Networks.

During the month of April, much of the economy came to a standstill and many of the large energy-consuming companies had their activity suspended, following the state of emergency to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.

Portugal entered a disaster situation on Sunday, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency since 19 March.

In the accumulated since the beginning of the year, the annual evolution of the consumption of electricity registered a fall of 2,6%.

Between January and April, in the natural gas market, there was an annual increase in consumption of 6,6%, which REN attributes to the positive behavior of the electricity market in the first quarter, before the state of emergency, which took effect from 19. March.

As for the conventional segment, natural gas consumption dropped 4,1% in this period.

According to REN, in April the hydrological conditions were favorable, with the hydroelectric producibility index standing at 1,17 (the historical average being equal to 1), while in wind farms the index stood at 0,85 (average history equal to 1).

Renewable production supplied 69% of national consumption, non-renewable production 17%, while the remaining 14% was supplied with energy imported from Spain.

In the accumulated result for the first four months of the year, the hydroelectric productivity index stood at 0,96 and wind power production at 0,86.

Between January and April, renewable production supplied 69% of consumption (hydroelectric with 35%, wind with 26%, biomass with 6% and photovoltaic with 2%) and non-renewable production with 28% of consumption, which according to REN it happened practically only with natural gas.

The import balance, in the first four months of 2020, was equivalent to around 2,3% of national consumption.