The generation of electricity from renewable sources supplied around 70% of consumption. This is the data highlight of national electricity consumption recorded in the first quarter of 2013. These values are primarily due to the existence of favourable weather conditions for hydroelectric and wind energy generation.
Hydroelectric generation between January and March increased 312% compared to the preceding year, supplying 37% of consumption, while wind energy generation increased 60% in the same period and supplied 27% of consumption, according to data from the energy grids manager.
These two energy sources have the most weight in generation by renewable sources, which almost doubled in the first quarter, after accounting for only 37% of consumption in 2012.
Wind power in this quarter - 36% above the average - was the highest ever.
Electricity consumption fell 2.3% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period of the previous year. This value is reduced to 0.4% when corrected for the effects of temperature and number of business days.
According to João Milheiro Batista, of the Market Information Area, 'these figures confirm the slowdown in the trend of consumption decline, which became apparent at the end of last year. In March there was even an upturn, with 4.7% growth, or 1.6% corrected for temperature and business days', added the REN officer.
2012 was the second consecutive year of consumption decline, with an accrued fall of 6% from the maximum figure that was recorded in 2010, registering values equivalent to those of 2006.
Generation by coal-fired and natural gas thermoelectric power stations fell 29% and 44% in the first quarter, respectively, compared to the same period of 2012.
The Portuguese electricity system remained an exporter between January and March, selling abroad the equivalent to 6% of national consumption.