REN registered three successive records of daily natural gas consumption in 2017, in the segment of combined cycle power stations. On 24 April, consumption surpassed the previous record for the first time, with 118.5 GWh. The new record was surpassed again on 9 June, with consumption reaching 119.7 GWh. Finally, on 21 June, REN registered a new consumption record of 120.6 GWh.
The combined cycle consumption concerns the technology of producing electricity by using the energy released in the burning of natural gas. The record figures reached on 21 June, which corresponded to about half the total daily consumption, reveals the trend of high consumption currently observed in this segment. The previous consumption maximum was 117 GWh and dated back to 7 February 2011.
These successive records show the crucial role the national Natural Gas infrastructure has in ensuring supply for general consumption, and for the power sector in particular. These are planned and designed to meet the consumers' concurrent requirements, safeguarding their full provision without consumption restrictions, thus ensuring the execution of the production activities that depend on them. On 19 January 2017, an all-time high of 252.4 GWh was reached in the consumption of natural gas.
REN, through REN Gasodutos, owns the concession for the high-pressure natural gas transmission, which includes the overall technical management of the National System of Natural Gas. This system ensures the coordination and operation of the natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure, thus guaranteeing continuity and safety of supply.
It should be noted that in the first five months of 2017, the accumulated consumption of the combined cycle power plants was 9.439 GWh, representing a 334% variation in comparison with the same period in 2016.
The drought affecting all of southern Europe, the heat waves predicted for the next few weeks and the reduced availability of the French nuclear reactors and the resulting need for importing electricity in France, among other factors, may lead to other highs being reached in the near future.