Gas demand plummets, power stations off, gas importers hit

Natural gas demand has fallen sharply in Greece, firstly as a result of the mild winter weather being experienced, which has restricted household gas demand for heating purposes, and secondly as gas-fueled power stations have remained sidelined for many hours per day because they are not competitive and are being undercut by electricity imports.

Retail gas demand for household, professional, small-scale industrial and industrial usage has fallen by as much as 50 percent, market officials have told energypress.

The reduced level of competitiveness affecting gas-fueled power stations has been primarily attributed to an extraordinary levy of 10 euros per MWh imposed, as of November 1. Also, many businesses have turned to alternatives such as diesel and LNG.

The sharp drop in natural gas usage has especially affected gas importers, some of which are committed to import agreements with take-or-pay clauses, while others have reserved slots at the Revythoussa LNG terminal close to Athens for LNG shipments.

Electricity imports currently cover approximately 25 percent of daily demand, data provided by the Hellenic Energy Exchange for the past week has shown.

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.

 

 

Decarbonization plan increases 2030 gas demand forecast to 8bcm

The natural gas sector will benefit most from the country’s plan to decarbonize by 2028 but new infrastructure will be needed to cope with the higher gas demand, officials have pointed out at an Athens forum.

Greece’s overall natural gas demand forecast for 2030 has now been revised upwards and is expected to exceed 8 billion cubic meters. Also, LNG appears likely to dominate over pipeline-supplied gas.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a decarbonization objective for Greece by 2028 while delivering a speech at the recent UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

Prior to this announcement, domestic natural gas demand was forecast to rise to 6 billion cubic meters by 2030 with a possible additional amount of up to one billion cubic meters, depending on the number of new gas-fueled power stations to be developed in coming years.

The revised gas demand forecasts for Greece were presented yesterday by gas grid operator DESFA and Gastrade company officials at the Athens Investment Forum.

Gastrade general manager Konstantinos Sifneos projected annual gas demand will increase to 7 billion cubic meters over the next five years.

Gas demand increased by 17 percent this year, while, for the first time, LNG quantities exceeded pipeline gas, it was noted.

Natural gas takes lead in energy mix, demand up 21.6%

Demand for natural gas demand grew by more than 20 percent in 2017, primarily driven by the electricity generation sector, which absorbed 18.6 percent more natural gas during the year to capture a 66.8 percent share of overall demand for natural gas in Greece.

The total amount of natural gas transmitted through the country’s distribution system reached 4.64 billion Nm3 in 2017, up from 3.84 billion Nm3 in 2016, a 21.06 percent increase. In energy terms, 53.57 billion kWh was distributed last year compared to 44.42 billion kWh in 2016, a 20.6 percent increase.

Small-scale industry, households and enterprises captured 19.5 percent of overall natural gas demand following a distribution increase of 10.5 percent.

Large-scale industry also experienced an impressive consumption increase of 64.9 percent, which took its share of overall natural gas demand to 13.7 percent.

Part of the overall increase has been attributed to the particularly heavy winter experienced around Greece in 2016-2017, which led to an increase in demand for natural gas-fueled electricity generation as well as natural gas through the pipelines for heating purposes.

The share of natural gas used for electricity generation increased to 31.5 percent in 2017 from 26.6 percent a year earlier. Total electricity production grew to 52.04 TWh in 2017 from 51.24 TWh in 2016, a 1.56 percent increase.

Increased natural gas consumption in the industrial sector, which became apparent during the final months of 2016, remained consistently higher throughout 2017.