02 August 2023

Solar production reaches 10% of consumption for the first time in July

Solar energy production reached a milestone, accounting for 10% of electricity consumption for the first time in July. During the same period, hydropower supplied 6% of the consumption, wind power contributed 22%, and biomass accounted for 6%.

Non-renewable production accounted for 28% of the consumption, while the remaining 28% corresponds to imported energy. Electricity consumption decreased by 5.4% in July compared to the same period last year, a contraction influenced by the moderate temperatures experienced this month, contrary to what happened in 2022.

Nevertheless, even after accounting for the effects of temperature and the number of working days, there was a 3.1% reduction in electricity consumption. The hydropower capability index recorded 0.61 in July, a value much lower than the average but of little significance, given that it is the summer period when water inflows are nearly absent.

The wind and solar regimes were above average, reaching 1.08 and 1.05, respectively. In the first seven months of the year, the consumption decreased by 0.9% compared to the same period last year, representing a decrease of 0.8% when adjusting for temperature and working days.

This decline is explained by the increase in self-consumption from photovoltaic production. Without this factor, electricity consumption would be in line with the previous year. In the period from January to July, the capability index stood at 0.78 for hydropower, 0.94 for wind, and 1.06 for solar.

Renewable generation supplied 58% of consumption, split between wind, providing 24%, hydroelectric with 21%, photovoltaics with 7%, and biomass with 6%. Generation from natural gas supplied 21% of consumption, the remaining 21% coming from imported energy.

Regarding natural gas consumption, during the first seven months of the year, it decreased by 20%, mainly due to a 4.8% drop in the conventional segment and 39% in the electric segment. This is the lowest consumption by the national system for this period, since 2014.

In July, this contraction trend in the natural gas market continued, with a year-on-year decrease of 16%. This decrease was distributed between the conventional segment, which declined by 3.8%, and the electricity production segment, which dropped 20%. In the case of the electricity production segment, the drop was due to the higher availability of renewable energy this year.

In July, the national supply was almost entirely sourced from the Sines LNG terminal, with the trade balance through the interconnection with Spain showing a net export equivalent to approximately 9% of the national consumption.