Electricity demand down for sixth successive month

Electricity demand in the household, professional, business and industrial categories fell for a sixth successive month in December, sliding by a record 13.69 percent, overall, compared to the corresponding month a year earlier, while, on an annual basis, demand fell by 3.55 percent last year compared to 2021.

Consumer behavior has changed considerably during the energy crisis, higher energy costs forcing users to cut back on energy consumption.

In November, electricity demand fell by 9.96 percent compared to the same month in 2021, October’s fall was 8.26 percent, September demand fell by 4.26 percent, the decline in August was 12.71 percent, and July’s drop was 11.24 percent.

Households and businesses recorded the biggest reductions in electricity demand last month, this being 15.61 percent compared to December, 2021, while high-voltage consumers used 1.51 percent less electricity.

As expected, the reduction in electricity demand prompted a drop in electricity generation in 2022, down 3.08 percent on 2021. Conventional facilities reduced their generation by 12.57 percent, but renewable energy production rose by 14.32 percent compared to the previous year.

Electricity demand falls again, sliding 9.87 percent

Electricity demand has recorded a new overall reduction, falling 9.87 percent in November, latest monthly market data published by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

The biggest reduction, 11.9 percent, or 395 GWh, was recorded on the mainland grid. Demand through the Cretan grid interconnection fell by 10 GWh, while demand recorded by high-voltage consumers dropped by 8 GWh, or 1.4 percent, the IPTO data showed.

Power utility PPC increased its share of the electricity market to 61.14 percent, up from 56.51 percent in the previous month, according to the IPTO data.

Mytilineos captured a market share of 8.74 percent, down from 12.89 percent. Heron followed with a market share of 7.25 percent, from 7.46 percent. Elpedison was next with 6.31 percent from 6.51 percent, followed by NRG, at 4.64 percent from 4.71 percent, Fysiko Aerio at 2.4 percent from 2.33 percent, Volterra at 2.12 percent from 2.36 percent, Watt & Volt at 2 percent from 1.91 percent; Zenith at 1.98 percent from 1.84 percent, Volton at 1.01 percent from 1.03 percent and the remainder of companies at 2.40 percent from 2.45 percent.

 

Industrial power usage cut auction set for January 18-19

An auction offering compensation amounts to high and medium-voltage consumers for electricity usage reductions of 5 percent during peak hours, an order that needs to be met by all EU member states this winter, will be launched on January 18 and 19 by power grid operator IPTO, the operator has announced.

Industrial consumers submitting lowest compensation amounts requested in return for their electricity consumption cuts will qualify for this mechanism, which will remain valid until March 31, 2023, when a commitment made by all EU member states to limit respective industrial electricity demand during peak hours will expire.

Greek authorities have defined the evening hours between 6 pm and 9 pm as the country’s peak hours.

Compensation amounts to be awarded to the winning bidders are planned to stem from the Energy Transition Fund.  An upper limit of 400 euros per MWh has been set for the mechanism’s bidding process.

 

 

Electricity demand falls for fourth consecutive month

Electricity demand in the household and business categories fell for a fourth consecutive month in October, plunging 9.25 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

This downward trend highlights the efforts being made by anxious consumers to keep their energy costs down. At this rate, Greece appears to be on target to achieve the country’s energy-saving goals.

Electricity demand had fallen 3.27 percent in September, 13.17 percent in August, and 11.78 percent in July.

In terms of quantity, electricity demand fell to 3,604 GWh last month from 3,971 GWh in October, 2021, according to the IPTO report.

Domestic electricity production also dropped sharply last month, falling 22.94 percent compared to October, 2021, to 3,155 GWh.

Market shares of electricity retailers also changed. Power power PPC’s market share dropped below 60 percent for the first time in months, reaching 56.73 percent, down from 60.81 percent in September.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, gained from PPC’s loss, its market share climbing, for a second consecutive month, to 12.88 percent from 8.77 percent in September.

Heron maintained third place with a 7.31 percent market share, followed by Elpedison (6.50%), NRG (4.66%), Fysiko Aerio (2.32%), Volterra (2.29%), Watt & Volt (1.93%), Zenith (1.87%) and Volton (1.04%).

 

 

Auction for lower electricity usage pay by end of November

The energy ministry is aiming to stage a first auction by the end of this month for remuneration of high and medium-voltage enterprises cutting back on electricity usage as of December 1, through a mechanism being prepared by IPTO, the power grid operator.

All EU members will need to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent during peak demand as of December 1.

In Greece, high and medium-voltage enterprises will bid for remuneration amounts at auction as compensation for reduced electricity usage.

The 5 percent reduction of electricity usage for low-voltage consumers will be optional, one reason beign that households have yet to be installed with smart meters, meaning their electricity consumption levels at specific times of the day cannot be tracked.

Consumers in Greece will be set a three-hour low-consumption period, between 6 pm and 9 pm, throughout the week. Households will need to try and avoid using energy-intensive appliances during these hours.

Electricity usage drops for third consecutive month

Household and business electricity consumption levels fell for a third consecutive month in September, down by 5.55 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, a latest monthly report issued by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

This reduction of electricity usage, however, was lower than the contraction rates recorded in August and July, 12.71 percent and 11.24 percent, respectively.

September’s lower reduction rate was attributed to the return of consumers following summer holidays and post-summer business re-openings.

In the low and medium-voltage categories, electricity usage in September fell 3.98 percent, well below August’s reduction of more than 13 percent.

On the contrary, high-voltage electricity consumption fell 4.25 percent in September, which was higher than the fall of 3.98 percent in August. September’s greater drop in electricity usage by industrial players was prompted by their switches to alternative energy sources, such as diesel, in an effort to reduce energy costs.

Overall electricity consumption during the year’s first nine-month period fell by 5.13 percent, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, the IPTO data showed.

Also, domestic electricity generation in September dropped by 13.83 percent, to 3,454 GWh, compared to the same month last year, the IPTO data showed.

RES output doubled, wholesale electricity price plunges 44%

Doubled RES production in recent days has been a key factor in a 44 percent decrease in the price of wholesale electricity over the past three days, down to levels last registered roughly a year ago.

Day-ahead market prices yesterday dropped to 166.12 euros per MWh, from 298.97 euros per MWh last Thursday.

Besides the doubled RES production, lower electricity demand over the weekend was cited as another factor in this price drop, according to the Hellenic Energy Exchange and power grid operator IPTO. Electricity demand dropped by roughly 20 percent over the weekend, compared to the preceding weekdays, IPTO figures showed.

On October 13, RES and hydropower facilities represented 34.4 percent of the energy mix, their participation rising to 68 percent yesterday.

As a result, natural gas and lignite-fired power stations played a lesser role over the past few days. Natural gas and lignite-fired power stations yesterday represented 8.55 percent and 4.74 percent of the energy mix, respectively, from 31.42 percent and 8.83 percent last Thursday.

Yesterday, between 12pm and 3pm, RES units covered 83 percent of the country’s energy mix.

 

Demand response aggregators part of energy saving strategy

The use of demand response green aggregators in power grid operator IPTO auctions, as part of the effort to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent, a European Commission requirement to be introduced December 1 for all EU member states, was one of the tools discussed at a broad energy ministry meeting focused on establishing an energy-saving strategy ahead of the requirement.

Besides energy ministry officials, the meeting, staged last Friday, also involved representatives of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, IPTO, distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO and the country’s five licensed aggregators.

In Greece, electricity usage restrictions will be imposed from 6pm-9pm on weekdays, with an additional hour, either between 9am and 10am or 9pm and 10 pm. Weekend restrictions may also be enforced to help achieve the 5 percent electricity consumption cut.

 

Electricity demand down 13% in August, third month in a row

Electricity demand dropped for a third successive month in August, falling by 13.1 percent, overall, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

Households and businesses were the biggest contributors to this reduction, cutting their usage by 13.94 percent, according to the operator’s report.

High-voltage consumers reduced their electricity consumption by 3.24 percent in August, compared to the same month in 2021, the IPTO data showed.

Electricity demand fell 11.24 percent in July, year-on-year. Electricity demand actually rose in June, but only marginally, 1.28 percent, a slowdown compared to May’s increase of 3.37 percent.

 

Reduced power usage, gas price caps on EU meeting agenda

A list of emergency energy price-control measures to be discussed by the EU-27 energy ministers at an extraordinary meeting on September 9 make up a document prepared by the EU’s Czech presidency.

The proposals to be discussed, nine in total, include temporary caps on the price of natural gas used for electricity generation as well as plans for a reduction of electricity consumption.

Member states are already forming alliances and preparing to back preferred strategies ahead of the emergency meeting.

The document highlights the need for a united European response to soaring energy prices, while also underlining the difficult winter that lies ahead. “The resilience of the European energy market will be tested in the coming winter,” the document notes.

The list of proposals to be discussed also includes a temporary cap on the price of imported natural gas from specific sources of origin, as well as temporary exclusion of natural gas power plants from energy exchange clearing prices.

 

Government moves ahead with plan to reduce energy consumption

The introduction of energy saving measures, both compulsory and optional, for consumers has now become a priority for the government following growing shortage fears, throughout Europe, prompted by Russia’s indefinite closure of the Nord Steam I gas pipeline, supplying Germany and, by extension, central Europe.

At a meeting of government officials in Athens yesterday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed to move ahead with measures intended to restrict electricity and natural gas consumption in an effort to avoid energy shortages during winter, sources informed.

The government will aim to decrease the amount of natural gas used for electricity generation by approximately 10 TWh, sector officials told energypress.

Annual natural gas consumption in Greece amounts to 70 TWh, of which 50 TWh is used for electricity generation.

An initiative was taken in early July, through a joint ministerial decision, to reduce electricity consumption at all public buildings, numbering 212,000, by 10 percent. The response, so far, has been poor, according to sources.

Campaigns raising the public’s awareness of the need to cut back on energy consumption will soon be launched by energy companies and operators. Citizens will be advised to keep heating temperatures at a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius and lights switched off in rooms not being used.

The government is also striving to limit electricity and natural gas consumption in the industrial sector.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas met yesterday with key industrialists at the helms of Titan cement group, Viohalco and the Mytilineos group, whose subsidiaries include Aluminium of Greece, to discuss plans limiting energy consumption, as well as the replacement of natural gas with diesel as an energy source wherever possible.

 

 

New power subsidies to be linked to usage levels

The government is moving to revise its energy subsidies strategy, until now offered universally, regardless of consumption levels, by incorporating subsidies with energy usage, offering them as a reward for restricted consumption, an approach also being prepared on a wider European scale by the European Commission.

In Greece, state subsidies offered for electricity over the past few months have covered as much as 94 percent of electricity cost increases.

However, such generous support, irrespective of electricity consumption levels, cannot be sustained in 2023 as fiscal margins have tightened, government sources informed, adding that the budget cannot keep supporting such expenditure over an extended period.

Given the high level of electricity subsidies in Greece, consumers have remained careless with consumption.

The European Commission is believed to be preparing to incorporate a revised version of Greece’s windfall tax on electricity producers into its wider plan promoting measures designed to reduce electricity demand.

Power exports up over 800% in June, domestic demand lower

Greece’s electricity exports increased by over 800 percent in June, year-to-year, a development that has been attributed to delayed pricing in the country, which follows the course of the TTF index with a one-month delay, a latest monthly report released by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

The country’s electricity exports to Balkan markets through grid interconnections grew by 805.86 percent in June, reaching 351 GWh from just 39 GWh in the equivalent month a year earlier.

Trading companies took full advantage of the country’s pricing latency to offer highly competitive electricity prices in neighboring markets.

Despite the sharp increase in electricity exports, Greece remains a bigger importer. The country’s electricity imports in June totaled 509 GWh, roughly 25 percent lower than the amount recorded in the previous month.

Greece’s electricity imports exceeded exports by 158 GWh in June, well below the 490 GWh figure recorded in June, 2021.

This trend explains why domestic electricity production rose sharply, to 4,154 GWh, up 15.02 percent compared to a year earlier. This figure is almost at par with total domestic demand, at 4,313 GWh.

Electricity demand in Greece fell for a third month running in June, down 1.22 percent, year-to-year, a development attributed to higher prices.

 

Households cut back on power use, overall demand higher

Electricity demand in the household and business low-voltage category fell for a second consecutive month in May, as consumers seek to limit their energy costs, data in a latest monthly report announced by power grid operator IPTO have shown.

However, overall electricity demand increased by 2.68 percent in May, compared to April, a development attributed to a rebound in consumption in the hospitality and entertainment sectors following the lifting of lockdown restrictions, as well as higher temperatures, the IPTO data showed.

As for retail market shares, power utility PPC remained dominant in May, maintaining a share of approximately 64 percent share, held since the beginning of the year, according to the IPTO figures.

Mytilineos registered a 7.19 percent share in May, Heron’s share was 6.57 percent and Elpedison’s captured a 6.26 percent share. They were followed by NRG (4.23%), Volterra (2.08%), Fysiko Aerio (2.05%), Watt & Volt (2.01%), Zenith (1.73%) and Volton (1.35%).

Household, business electricity demand down 6.7% in April

Higher energy prices prompted a 6.7 percent decrease in electricity demand among households and enterprises in April, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, according to a monthly report released by power grid operator IPTO.

Overall electricity demand fell at a smaller rate of 3.79 percent as demand for high-voltage electricity supplied to the industrial sector rose by 3.3 percent, the IPTO data showed.

Higher electricity demand in the industrial sector has been linked to export activity as well as pre-determined electricity tariff agreements, protecting producers from the steep energy price rises of late.

High-priced electricity and, by extension, more expensive products, has impacted the purchasing power of consumers, forcing many shops to restrict their business hours.

Output at natural gas-fueled power stations fell 48.8 percent in April, compared to the same month a year earlier, while lignite-fired power stations increased their production by 57.2 percent, the IPTO report showed. Overall, electricity production fell 19.9 percent in April compared to a year earlier, the data showed.

RES production rose, favorable weather conditions being a key factor, to take green energy’s share of the country’s energy mix to 57.34 percent, the IPTO figures showed.

RES output high in ’21, demand back to pre-pandemic level

The RES sector set a new production record in 2021, reaching 17,193 GWh, up from 14,800 in 2020, a 16.2 increase, while, in another important development last year, electricity demand rebounded to pre-pandemic levels of 2019, totaling 52,322 GWh, up 4.7 percent compared to 2020, data provided in a latest monthly report from power grid operator IPTO has shown.

Another eco-friendly energy source, hydropower, also ended 2021 with a record production level of 5,293 GWh, 82.5 percent higher than the 2020 total of 2,900 GWh, the IPTO report showed.

The RES and hydropower sectors, combined, provided 46.1 percent of the country’s overall electricity production in 2022, which reached 48,721 GWh.

Lignite-fired generation fell by 7 percent, to 5,341 GWh, in 2021, reflecting this high-polluting and high-cost energy source’s continual retreat.

Power utility PPC has been regaining ground during the energy crisis of the past few months, increasing its retail electricity market share to 63.9 percent in December from 63.1 percent a month earlier, the IPTO data showed.

PPC’s retail electricity market share has increased by nearly two percentage points  since September, when the energy crisis hit.

Markets challenged by nuclear withdrawals, gas crisis, demand

A series of unfavorable developments, including nuclear reactor withdrawals in Germany and Belgium, persistently high natural gas prices and strong energy demand threaten will further test the European grid, threatening to prolong the energy crisis.

The withdrawal of nuclear reactors in Germany and Belgium, combined with skyrocketing natural gas prices, will negatively impact Europe’s electricity market, even in countries where natural gas holds a small share of the energy mix, as markets are interconnected, enabling a knock-on effect.

Germany has announced a withdrawal, today, of nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 4.25 GW and remaining capacities, totaling about 4.3 GW, by end-2022. Overall, this phase-out represents 12 percent of the country’s electricity supply.

In addition, Germany’s new coalition intends to reassess the country’s existing decarbonization plan, its phase-out of fossil-fuel plants running until 2038, with the aim of shortening this procedure t0 2030, if possible.

Belgium is headed in the same direction. The country’s nuclear reactor phase-out runs until 2025. The country’s Doel 3 facility is planned to shut down in October, 2022, followed by Tihange 2 in early 2023.

Electricity demand in ten European countries is forecast to increase by 2 percent, or 5 GW, on average, in 2022, according to a Platts Analytics projection.

PPC lignite reserves, stations ready for winter, official assures

Lignite reserves are sufficient to meet elevated demand this winter, while the country’s lignite-fired power stations, hydropower facilities and lignite mines are all set to operate, Dimitris Metikanis, general manager of power utility PPC’s lignite production division has noted in Parliament, in response to questions over energy sufficiency and the energy crisis.

PPC has done all that is possible to prepare the country’s lignite and hydropower units for possible energy demand increases during the winter, the PPC official noted.

Maintenance levels for the country’s lignite facilities have been relaxed in recent times as these units are headed for withdrawal by 2023, as part of Greece’s decarbonization effort. However, the energy crisis may require the lignite units to be brought back into play this winter.

Adequate lignite sources are expected to prevent a reliance on electricity exports, while PPC’s lignite-fired power station Agios Dimitrios V is expected to return by the end of the year after being sidelined for desulfurization work, the official informed.

Daily electricity demand in Greece is projected to reach between 180 and 190 GWh during colder weather conditions from December to February, according to power grid operator IPTO projections.

Such demand levels will require contributions from all available lignite-fired power stations, seven in total – Agios Dimitrios I, II, III, IV and V, Melitis and Megalopoli IV – offering a total capacity of 1,800 MW.

 

Heatwave pushes up wholesale prices to over €100/MWh once again

The latest rise in temperatures, prompting further heatwave conditions around Greece, is impacting the wholesale electricity market as the average clearing price in the day-ahead market has risen again to levels of over 100 euros per MWh, following days of more subdued levels, according to energy exchange data.

The average clearing price for today is up to 103.8 euros per MWh, up from yesterday’s level of 93.47 euros per MWh and Sunday’s level of 75.34 euros per MWh.

According to the day-ahead market figures, overall electricity generation today is planned to reach 167,437,017 MWh, with lignite-fired power stations covering just 11,172 MWh, natural gas-fired power stations providing 86,541,739 MWh, hydropower facilities generating 11,829 MWh and all other RES units providing 57,894,278 MWh. Electricity imports are planned to reach 16,159,231 MWh.

Today’s electricity demand is expected to peak at 12.30pm, reaching 8,580 MW, according to data provided by IPTO, the power grid operator.

Three of power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations, Agios Dimitrios III, Megalopoli IV and Meliti, will be brought into action today, while five of the utility’s natural gas-fired power stations, Aliveri V, Lavrio IV and V, Komotini and Megalopoli V, will also be mobilized, along with gas-fired units operated by the independent players Heron, ENTHES, Elpedison (Thisvi), Protergia and Korinthos Power.

Wholesale prices driven higher by heatwave, lignite units enter

The heightened electricity demand prompted by the country’s ongoing heatwave is applying intense pressure on wholesale price levels. Given today’s grid requirements, expected to exceed 8 GW, the clearing price at the energy exchange is seen rising to over 100 euros for 16 hours, peaking at 9pm at a price level of €127.82/MWh.

According to a power grid operator IPTO forecast, the system’s demand peak is expected to exceed 8 GW for a three-hour period, reaching as high as 8,108 MW. Overall demand today is seen totaling 156,115 MWh.

In order to cover the grid’s electricity needs for today, IPTO, in addition to the natural gas-fired power stations operated by power utility PPC and independent players, has also recruited four PPC lignite-fired power stations, these being Agios Dimitrios I, II and IV and Meliti.

The RES sector is expected to cover 27,540 MWh of total demand, while natural gas-fired power stations and hydropower units are seen contributing 99,651 MWh and 10,449 MWh, respectively.

As for the natural gas-fired power stations recruited for today’s grid needs, the list is comprised of PPC’s Aliveri V, Lavrio IV and V, Komotini and Megalopoli V, as well as the independent units Heron, Elpedison Thessaloniki, Elpedison Thisvi, Protergia and Korinthos Power.

Electricity demand up 7.5% in April, PPC market share steady

Electricity demand registered a sharp 7.5 percent rise in April, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, driven by the government’s recent decision to ease lockdown measures, power grid operator IPTO’s latest monthly report has shown.

The relaxation of lockdown measures in Greece prompted a milder 1.5 percent increase in electricity demand in March, year-on-year.

On the contrary, electricity demand fell by 2.5 percent over the four-month period covering January to April, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, according to the IPTO report.

This decline in electricity demand was approximately half the 5.1 percent drop, year-on-year, for the three-month period between January and March.

Electricity generation rose by 24.6 percent in April, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to the IPTO report.

Natural gas-fired power stations led the way, boosting their production by 52.4 percent, followed by lignite-fired power stations, whose output rose by 21.8 percent, RES units, increasing their generation by 5.8 percent and hydropower stations, which registered a 3.1 percent increase.

In terms of energy-mix shares, the pivotal role of natural gas-fired generation was once again made clear. It captured a 43 percent share of the energy mix in April, followed by the RES sector, capturing 36 percent, lignite with 11 percent, hydropower with 6 percent and electricity imports at 5 percent.

Power utility PPC’s share of electricity demand remained virtually unchanged for a third successive month in April, registering 65 percent, following a 64.8 percent share in March and 65.1 percent share in February.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, the frontrunner among the independent suppliers, was the only company to increase its market share in April. It rose to 8.2 percent share from 7.95 percent a month earlier.

Heron’s share was steady at 6.3 percent from 6.29 percent in March. Elpedison’s share experienced a mild drop to 4.72 percent from 4.88 percent. NRG’s share in April was unchanged at 3.99 percent, while Watt & Volt’s share slipped marginally to 2.44 percent from 2.58 percent.

Electricity demand falls 9.5% in January amid stricter lockdown

Stricter lockdown measures in January and their impact on business activity prompted a big reduction in electricity demand, down 9.5 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, when lockdown measures had yet to be imposed, according to power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report.

Most of the country’s retailers were forced to disrupt their business activities in January following a period of less stringent retail measures in the form of a click-away service, enabling customers to pre-order and pick up goods from shops by appointment or, this measure’s extension, click-in-shop, permitting customers to enter stores, see and even try products by appointment.

Electricity demand in the high-voltage category was down by 3.3 percent in January compared to the same month a year earlier, the IPTO data showed.

Interestingly, despite the plunge in electricity demand, electricity production increased by 12.9 percent in January, hydropower being the biggest mover with a 221 percent increase, following power utility PPC’s decision to use its hydropower units as a result of elevated water reserves.

The domestic production increase was attributed to a fall in electricity imports and rise in electricity exports, the greatest quantity going to Italy (43%), followed by North Macedonia (24%), Bulgaria (22%), Albania (9%) and Turkey (2%).

RES output was higher by 43 percent in January as a result of strong winds during the month, while, on the contrary, lignite-fired generation fell 43 percent. Natural gas-fueled power station output was also down, marginally, by 2 percent.

In terms of energy mix share, natural gas-fueled power stations held a 36 percent share, RES units captured 35 percent, hydropower’s contribution represented 16 percent, and lignite was responsible for 13 percent of total electricity generation in January, the IPTO figures showed.

PPC covered 66.6 percent of electricity demand in January, followed by Mytilineos (7.52%), Heron (5.89%), Elpedison (4.63%), NRG (3.49%) and Watt & Volt (2.74%).

Balancing market costs subdued for second consecutive week

Balancing market costs remained subdued for a second consecutive week, the total cost of three uplift accounts, according to official data provided by power grid operator IPTO, registering 5.87 euros per MWh in the tenth week since the November 1 launch of the target model. Its introduction prompted sharp balancing cost increases in the first few weeks.

More specifically, the uplift 1 account reached €1.39 per MWh, uplift 2 was €0.79 per MWh, and uplift 3 registered €3.69 per MWh.

According to IPTO data on the three uplift accounts during the first ten weeks of the target model, their total cost was €8.37 per MWh in the first week, climbed to €15.68, €19.45 and €20.06 per MWh in the second, third and fourth weeks, respectively, before peaking at €43.37 per MWh in the fifth week. The uplift total then plunged to €8.08 per MWh in the sixth week, before eventually falling further to levels of €5.74 and €5.87 per MWh in the ninth and tenth weeks, respectively.

Day-ahead market prices have also been low over the past two weeks of subdued balancing market costs, meaning the overall cost in the wholesale market has dropped.

Low electricity demand as a result of the mild winter weather, so far; the lockdown measures, even if not absolute; more accurate electricity demand forecasts by power grid operator IPTO; as well as increased output by RES and hydropower units, have all been cited as factors in the reduced cost of wholesale electricity.

In addition, more rational offers by producers have also contributed to the normalization of balancing market prices.

Local gas-fueled generation up in response to high-cost power imports

Higher electricity prices in neighboring countries, increasing the cost of electricity imports, have prompted power utility PPC to capitalize on the situation and operate its gas-fueled power stations at maximum capacity for satisfactory market prices.

In recent days, PPC’s natural gas-fueled units have covered between 35 and 40 percent of electricity demand.

Yesterday, the power utility’s gas-fueled power stations covered 40 percent of electricity demand at a price of 42.6 euros per MWh for ten hours.

Independent producers covered 19 percent of electricity demand at a price of 64.4 euros per MWh for one hour.

Electricity imports covered 14 percent of electricity demand for a price of 51.7 euros per MWh over 11 hours.

Renewable energy sources covered 24 percent of electricity demand yesterday, while the decreased lignite input continued on its downward trajectory, contributing 3.6 GWh.

In Bulgaria, the wholesale electricity price was 53.14 euros per MWh. In Italy, it was 51.93 euros per MWh. Romania registered a price level of 51.7 euros per MWh. The price in Serbia was 49.91 euros per MWh.

Gas-fired, RES generation high in July, gas-based output boost at PPC

Electricity demand fell by 2 percent in July compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, while gas-fired and RES generation remained high, according to a latest energy exchange report.

Demand in July peaked at 9,033 MW, on July 31 at 2pm, while the month’s lowest level of electricity demand was 4,290 MW, recorded on July 12 at 7am, the report informed.

Domestic electricity demand represented 97.27 percent of the month’s total demand while exports represented 2.72 percent, according to the data.

Natural gas-fueled generation covered 41.21 percent of electricity demand in July, RES production covered 26.05 percent, electricity imports covered 20.01 percent, hydropower output contributed with 6.76 percent and lignite-fired generation followed with 5.97 percent.

Production by natural gas-fueled power stations in July was up 8 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, the data showed. Electricity imports were down 10 percent this July and exports rose by 14 percent.

Lignite-fired generation dropped considerably, by 64 percent, hydropower output registered a milder reduction of 4 percent, while RES output increased significantly by 49 percent.

As had been anticipated, a rise in production at PPC’s Megalopoli V unit increased the corporation’s overall gas-fired production in July, both compared to June and preceding months.

PPC’s gas-fired electricity production reached 942,613 MWh in July compared to 512,292 MWh in June.

 

High-voltage power demand up during lockdown, exchange data shows

Industrial high-voltage electricity demand during lockdown in Greece registered an unanticipated increase, rising by 12.46 percent in March, 21.86 percent in April, 30.62 percent in May and 19.71 percent in June, all compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, according to figures provided by the energy exchange.

Prior to lockdown, high-voltage electricity demand registered a milder 2.46 percent increase in February compared to the same month a year earlier.

Overall, in the first half of 2020, demand for high-voltage electricity rose by 14.87 percent compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, the energy exchange figures showed.

On the contrary, demand for mid-voltage and low-voltage electricity between February and May fell to lower levels compared to last year, according to the energy exchange data, reflecting inequalities in the impact of the pandemic on various economic sectors.

Mid-voltage electricity demand slumped 18.89, 22.43 and 22.08 percent in April, May and June, respectively, compared to the equivalent months a year earlier.

In the low-voltage category, concerning households, electricity demand fell considerably during the five-month period from February to June, registering drops of 6.08, 10.96, 19.1, 12.77 and 18.45 percent, respectively.

Figures provided by power grid operator showed an overall decrease, for all categories, of 4.3 percent in the first half of 2020 and a high-voltage demand decrease of 9.4 percent.

Power demand dives 14.61% in June as tourism slumps

Electricity demand slumped 14.61 percent in June, compared to a year earlier, despite the month’s lifting of lockdown measures, latest Greek energy exchange figures have shown.

June’s drop in power demand, attributed to the unprecedented decline in tourism activity, was even bigger than the declines registered in April and May, 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Numerous hotels and other tourism industry units have not opened for business. Also, flight bans were essentially not lifted until the beginning of this month.

Responding to the drop in electricity demand, energy producers have restricted output by 16 percent.

Natural gas and renewables dominated electricity generation in June. Natural gas-fueled generation covered 36.56 percent of demand, while RES production covered 26.43 percent, the energy exchange’s June report showed. Electricity imports covered 23.93 percent, hydropower 7.43 percent and lignite-fired production 5.64 percent.

 

 

Grid passes summer’s first test, demand at 7,600 MW today

The country’s grid is set to face increased pressure as temperatures rise throughout the country and are forecast to reach as high as 39 degrees Celsius today. Electricity demand is expected to rise to 7,600 MW.

The country’s grid coped well during yesterday’s first major test for the summer. Electricity demand reached 7,300 MW amid temperatures marginally lower than the levels forecast for today.

The power utility PPC was forced to use its hydropower facilities. Water deposit levels have been extremely low this year. Further usage of the hydropower facilities will be needed today but PPC is expected to act cautiously as it awaits tougher days ahead.

PPC anticipates it may need to use 50 to 60 percent of its 3,171-MW total hydropower capacity in July.

The heat-related rise in electricity demand has coincided with increased wholesale electricity prices over the past week. They rose sharply from 28.62 euros per MWh on June 28 to 44.52 euros per MWh on Tuesday and 45.01 euros per MWh yesterday.

This first summer test for the grid has once again highlighted the extremely high costs entailed in operating lignite-fired power stations. Their generation costs are now between 90 and 100 euros per MWh.

During this heatwave, PPC, currently moving to withdraw most of its lignite units over the next three years, has opted to minimize its reliance on lignite, preferring instead to cover its generation needs through its natural gas units and hydropower stations.

 

 

 

Electricity demand down 12.6% in April, industrial use slumps 23.6%

Electricity demand slumped 12.6 percent in April compared to the same month a year earlier, the biggest drop registered by high-voltage industrial consumers, forced to suspend or restrict output during the lockdown, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

Industrial electricity consumption in April fell sharply by 23.6 percent, the IPTO report showed.

The drop in electricity consumption linked to mining activity was even sharper, falling 55.5 percent in April. Besides the lockdown, this drop was also attributed to significant operational restrictions implemented at power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power plants.

Electricity generation in April fell by 3.2 percent, to 2,893 GWh compared to 2,990 during the same month a year earlier, according to the data.

This reduction was mild compared to major shifts observed in sources of generation. Lignite-based generation fell by 62.7 percent year-on-year, confirming, most emphatically, the commencement of PPC’s decarbonization effort.

High costs for lignite-based generation severely reduced the operational time of PPC’s lignite-fired power plants, limiting lignite’s share of the electricity production mix to just 10 percent in April.

On the contrary, the production share of interconnected RES facilities, benefiting from favorable conditions, rose sharply by 33.9 percent, year-on-year, to capture a market-leading 36 percent share of overall electricity generation in April.

Natural gas-fired power plants followed with a 30 percent share following an 11 percent year-on-year rise in output.

Electricity imports (grid interconnections) contributed 18 percent, while hydropower facilities increased their output by 19.8 percent to capture a 6 percent share in April.

PPC provided 951 GWh, or 56.6 percent of the production, while independent producers covered 43.4 percent.

Among the independent producers, Mytilineos led the way with 228.1 GWh, followed by Elpedison (210.4 GWh), Korinthos Power (154.1 GWh) and Heron II (136.3 GWh).

The IPTO data on generation highlights an increasing shift towards cleaner energy sources.

 

 

Wholesale electricity prices rising, up to €47.30/MWh today

Wholesale electricity prices, determined by the System Marginal Price, are rebounding following a significant drop over the past few weeks.

The rise is being fueled by an anticipated increase in demand. A sidelined 600-MW line linking Greece with Bulgaria, depriving the system of electricity imports via this route, as well as a disruption in operations at an Elpedison power plant in Thessaloniki are two other contributing factors.

In addition, the Revythoussa LNG terminal just off Athens is not under any pressure, a factor subduing gas-fired unit bids and subsequently lowering the SMP.

Based on grid orders placed for today, the SMP has climbed to 47.30 euros per MWh, up from a level of around 30 euros per MWh five days earlier and 14.20 euros per MWh on May 1. Bidding by units has gradually risen since early May.

Demand, today, for domestic consumption and exports is estimated to reach 127 GWh, 40 percent of which is planned to be covered by natural gas-fired power stations, 30 percent by RES and hydropower plants, 23 percent by electricity imports, and 7 percent by lignite-fired power stations.

The SMP level will be determined by gas-fired power stations for 22 hours today, lignite-based generation will shape the price for one hour and imports for the remaining hour.