The consumption of electricity decreased 10% year-over-year in March. This variation reflects the above-normal temperatures recorded this month, unlike what happened in March of the previous year, which was especially cold. Considering the first quarter as a whole, also due to the effect of the above-normal temperatures, consumption recorded a year-over-year drop of 3.5%.
With rainfall remaining low, the hydropower capability index was 0.57 (historical average of 1). In wind production, the lowest index in REN's history (since 2001) was recorded in March, 0.81 (historical average of 1), similar to what had happened in the previous month, regardless of the fact that a new instant maximum of 4,640 MW was recorded on 6 March. This month, renewable production fuelled 51% of national consumption, non-renewable production accounted for 30%, while the remaining 19% were supplied using imported energy.
The hydropower capability index for the first quarter was 0.52 (historical average of 1), while the wind capability index was 0.88 (historical average of 1), the latter being the second lowest value in REN's records. With the negative conditions in the main sources of renewable production, its corresponding share did not surpass 50% this quarter, broken down into 26% from wind power, 18% from hydropower, 5% from biomass and 1.7% from photovoltaic. Non-renewable production supplied 37% of consumption, with natural gas accounting for 20% and coal for 17%. Imports, which have been especially high in recent months, supplied around 13% of the consumption.
In the natural gas market, domestic consumption recorded a negative year-over-year variation of 1.9% also due to the effect of the high temperatures, felt in the conventional segment, with a reduction of 2.2%. There was a marginal growth of 0.3% in the electricity market segment. At the end of the first quarter, the consumption of natural gas recorded a drop of 7%, with a 32% decline in the electricity market and a 2.6% increase in the conventional market.