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Natural gas consumption in November 11% above its all-time high

 

The consumption of natural gas in Portugal maintained, in November, its trend of strong growth, especially in the production of electrical energy, where natural gas plants have mostly made up for the reduction in renewable production. Thus, this month, there was a year-over-year growth of 22% in the electricity market, whereas, in the conventional segment, there was a variation of 1.6%. At the end of November, consumption of natural gas presented an accumulated variation of 28%, with growths of 93% in the electricity market and 4.3% in the conventional market. The accumulated consumption in 2017, at the end of November, was of 64,309 GWh, 11% above the annual maximum recorded in 2010.

In November, electricity consumption recorded a negative year-over-year variation of 0.2%, mostly due to the effect of the temperatures, which exceeded average values for this time of the year. Considering the correction for the temperature effects and for the number of working days, consumption would have recorded a positive evolution of 1.6%. At the end of November, the accumulated annual variation is now 0.4%, or 1.3% when correcting for temperature and working days.

Hydrological conditions remained extremely negative, with this month's hydroelectric capability index at 0.16, a value similar to the one recorded in October. As was the case in the previous month, this index is the lowest ever, now for the month of November (REN's records since 1971). In wind production, conditions also remained unfavourable, with the corresponding capability index at 0.79 (historical average equal to one), the third lowest index for the month of November in REN's records (since 2001). Given the recorded weather conditions, renewable sources only supplied 36% of electricity consumption, which, for the month of November, is the lowest number since 2008. Non-renewable production supplied 64%, with natural gas accounting for 37% and coal for 27%. The foreign trade balance was slightly favourable, amounting to 1.5% of the domestic consumption.

For the period from January to November, the hydropower productivity index is at 0.51 (historical average equal to one), and the wind power productivity index is at 0.96 (historical average equal to one). During the same period, renewable production supplied 40% of the consumption, plus the exporting balance, with the hydroelectric plants accounting for 11% of the consumption, wind farms for 22%, biomass for 5% and photovoltaic for 1.6%. Non-renewable production supplied the remaining 60% of consumption, with natural gas accounting for 34% and coal for 26%. The exporting balance recorded in this period amounts to 6.4% of the national consumption.