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Consumption of electric power decreases 0.5% in March

Electricity consumption fell 0.5% in March, or 1.7% when correcting for the effects of temperature and the number of working days. This evolution stemmed from a period of growth at the beginning of the month, followed by a sharp decrease after the state of emergency announcement. From 18 to 31 March, the temperature-corrected consumption decreased by around 8% vis-à-vis the same period of the previous year. At the end of the first quarter, the annual change stands at +0.2%, or +0.9% when correcting for temperature and working days. 

Also in March, the hydropower capability index stood at 0.87 (historical average equal to 1), and the wind-power capability index stood at 0.96 (historical average equal to 1), both being below the average levels for this time of year. Nevertheless, renewable production fuelled 69% of domestic consumption, non-renewable production accounted for 26%, while the remaining 5% accounted for imported energy. 

The hydropower capability index for the first quarter of the year was 0.91 (historical average of 1), while the wind-power capability index recorded 0.86 (historical average of 1). In this period, renewable production supplied 69% of consumption, broken down into 35% for hydropower, 25% for wind power, 6% for biomass, and 1.9% for photovoltaics. Non-renewable production supplied 31% of the consumption, with virtually only natural gas, since coal production was of no significance. The balance of the first quarter favoured exports, amounting to around 1% of the domestic consumption.

In the natural gas market, in March, domestic consumption recorded a year-on-year variation of 20%, due to the strong growth in the electricity market segment, which recorded a year-on-year variation of 176%, with natural gas almost completely replacing coal production. The conventional segment recorded a monthly year-on-year decrease of 0.5%. In the same segment, after the state of emergency announcement, consumption dropped by around 4% vis-à-vis the same period of the previous year.

At the end of the quarter, there was a 17.5% increase in consumption, stemming from a 90% rise in the electricity market and from a 1.3% decline in the conventional market.