Record year for natural gas
In 2017, renewable production supplied 40% of the consumption, plus the exporting balance, with hydroelectric plants accounting for 11% of the consumption, wind farms for 23%, 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 5.4% of the national consumption. In the same period, the hydroelectric capability index stood at 0.47 (historical average equal to 1), the third lowest in REN's records, only surpassed by those observed in 1992 and 2005, and the wind capability index stood at 0.97 (historical average equal to 1).
In December, electricity consumption recorded a strong 4.1% year-on-year growth, supported by temperatures lower than those in the same month of the previous year. Considering the correction for the temperature effects and for the number of working days, consumption still recorded an evolution of 2.8%. In 2017, consumption totalled 49.6 TWh, with an increase of 0.7% over the previous year, or 1.4% when correcting for the temperature and for the number of working days. This is the third consecutive year with consumption growth, which is now about 5% away from the maximum reached in 2010.
The hydrological conditions remain extremely negative with the hydropower capability index standing at 0.28 in December. This is, for December, the third lowest index recorded by REN (with numbers since 1971). In wind production, conditions were more favourable with the corresponding capability index being slightly higher than the average values, with 1.04. This month, renewable sources covered 45% of the consumption of electricity, while non-renewable production covered 50%, with natural gas accounting for 26% and coal for 24%. Foreign trade balance was negative, amounting to around 5% of the domestic consumption.
Record year for natural gas consumption in Portugal
In 2017, natural gas consumption, boosted by the electricity market, amounted to 69.7 TWh, with a year-on-year growth of 24.8%, broken down between 79% in the electricity market's segment and 4.1% in the conventional market. This is the highest ever annual consumption, surpassing the previous maximum, recorded in 2010, by 21%. In the segment of the electricity market, consumption was also the highest ever, surpassing the previous maximum, from 2008.
In December, in the natural gas market, the first annual year-on-year drop in consumption took place this year, due to a 14.5% reduction recorded in the electrical energy production segment. In the conventional segment, there was a 1.9% year-on-year growth.