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Hydraulic production with highest ever monthly figure pushes renewable energy to all-time highs since 1979

 

Renewable production supplied 88% of electricity consumption in February (including net exports), while non-renewable supplied the remaining 12%. This is the highest renewable percentage since April 1979. The foreign trade balance favoured exports, amounting to around 20% of the domestic consumption. 

Electricity consumption showed a year-on-year contraction of 3.1%, fundamentally due to the leap year effect, with this year having one day less than the previous one. When correcting for temperature and working days, the drop is attenuated to 0.8%, with the lockdown brought upon by the pandemic having no significant effect. The annual change registered a marginally positive variation of 0.1%, or 1.3% less when correcting for temperature and working days. 

This month, conditions were particularly favourable for renewable energy. The hydropower capability index stood at 1.85 (historical average of 1), with hydraulic production showing the highest monthly production ever, at 2709 GWh, whereas the wind-power capability index stood at 1.19 (historical average of 1). Renewable production supplied 88% of consumption (including net exports), while non-renewable supplied the remaining 12%. This is the highest renewable share since April 1979. The foreign trade balance favoured exports, amounting to around 20% of the domestic consumption.

From January to February, the hydropower capability index stood at 1.39 (historical average of 1), whereas the wind-power capability index was at 1.14 (historical average of 1). In these two months, renewable production supplied 79% of consumption, broken down into 42% for hydropower, 30% for wind power, 5% for biomass, and 2% for photovoltaics. Non-renewable production supplied 21% of consumption, mainly with natural gas, with coal accounting for around 2% of consumption only. The foreign trade balance favoured exports, amounting to around 6% of the domestic consumption.

The natural gas market recorded a negative year-on-year variation of 25% in February. This sharp decline was due to the power production segment, which fell by 77%, as a result of the high availability of renewable energy. The conventional segment saw a positive evolution of 2.6%, with the lockdown having no effect, as is the case with electricity. 

At the end of February, the accumulated annual consumption of natural gas showed a negative variation of 17%, with the conventional segment growing 2.4% and the power production segment contracting 52%.