Electricity consumption decreased 1% year-on-year in March, or 1.1% when correcting for the effects of temperature and number of working days. At the end of the quarter, the annual evolution recorded a positive variation of 2.1%, or 1.3% when correcting for temperature and working days.
This March, weather conditions were again negative for renewable energies, apart from photovoltaics. The capability index stood at 0.65 for hydropower (historical average of 1), at 0.83 for wind, and at 1.14 for solar. The photovoltaic generation peak exceeded 1500 MW for the first time, around 400 MW higher than in the same period of the previous year. Renewable generation supplied 56% of consumption, non-renewable generation accounted for 15%, while the remaining 29% were supplied using imported energy.
In the first three months of the year, the hydropower capability index was 0.95, the wind power capability index was 0.93, and the solar capability index was 1.14. During this period, renewable generation supplied 72% of consumption, split between hydroelectric with 34%, wind with 27%, biomass with 6%, and photovoltaics with 5%. Generation from natural gas supplied 19% of consumption, while the import balance supplied the remaining 9%.
In the natural gas market, there was a negative year-on-year variation of 25% in March. This variation was mostly due to the behaviour of the electricity generation segment, which showed a year-on-year drop of 58%, while in the conventional segment, which covers the remaining consumers, the evolution remains negative, but with a variation of only 0.7%. The Portuguese national system was supplied mainly from the Sines LNG terminal, representing 89% of the total, with the remaining 11% coming from the interconnection with Spain.
At the end of the quarter, the accumulated annual consumption of gas recorded a negative variation of 20%, split between a decrease of 4.1% in the conventional segment and a drop of 39% in the electricity generation segment. This is the lowest consumption in the conventional segment since 2009.