Electricity consumption level forecasts are bleak as the coronavirus pandemic is now also impacting the country’s energy-intensive industrial sector after devastating the economy’s tourism and retail sectors.
The widening problem will inevitably affect overall demand and the financial results of retail electricity suppliers.
A number of industrial enterprises have suspended their operations. These include steel company Sidenor, which has put a halt on production at five units, as well as four textile firms.
More industrial companies are likely to follow suit as the ongoing lockdown keeps much economic activity grounded. As a result, overall electricity demand is expected to drop considerably over the next few months.
The pandemic’s impact on low-voltage electricity demand has, for the time being, remained subdued. Considerably lower consumption levels in the retail and trade sectors have been offset by higher household demand driven by the government’s stay-at-home orders.
Low-voltage electricity demand in March fell by a level of between one and two percent, according to power grid operator IPTO sources. A sharper decline of approximately five percent is expected in April.
However, sharper drops over the next few months cannot be ruled out, as has been the case in other parts of Europe.
In recent weeks, electricity demand in Italy was down by 20 percent. Belgium recorded a drop of 17 percent, French electricity demand fell by 12 percent and Spain’s drop registered at 10 percent.