Electricity market

Demand in France decreased by 2.9% compared to the same period of 2017-2022

Electricity demand in the EU in December 2022-January 2023 decreased by approximately 5.4% compared to the average for this period in 2017-2022. Argus.Media informs about it.

According to data from local operators and the association Entso-E, electricity consumption in 25 of the 27 EU member states, excluding Cyprus and Malta, averaged 304.8 GW during December-January. This is down from 322.1 GW in the same period in the last five years. Demand fell in most countries, with the largest declines in Greece, Romania and Slovakia (more than 10%), and increases in Ireland and Luxembourg.

The emergency EU regulation of September 30, 2022, aimed at eliminating high energy prices, provides for a voluntary overall reduction of 10% of gross electricity consumption in the period from December 2022 to March 2023, and a mandatory goal of reducing electricity consumption by 5% during peak hours.

Demand for electricity in France, which became the largest consumer in the EU in December, averaged 64.3 GW. This is 2.9% below the average indicator for the same period in 2017-2022. This was facilitated by higher-than-season temperatures observed until mid-January, a reduction in demand from energy-intensive industries by 18% for the year (as of the end of January 2023) due to high prices, according to data from the French TSO RTE. In addition, the government announced a national energy saving plan that aims to reduce overall energy demand by 10% over the next two years.

Germany, the second largest consumer, saw demand fall by around 6.1% to an average of 56.6 GW. The end of December – mid-January in the country was characterized by a high level of wind generation and moderate temperatures. At the same time, at the beginning of 2023, the country also extended short-term energy saving measures in public and private buildings until mid-April of this year – previously they were supposed to be effective until the end of February.

In Belgium, electricity demand was 9.85 GW during December-January, which is 4.4% below the five-year average for the period. According to the Belgian TSO Elia, this is partly due to high prices on the electricity market. In addition, in January 2023, the country saw a record capacity of wind generation.

Average electricity demand in Italy was 31.2 GW in December-January, 7% below the five-year average. The reduction was mainly due to a decrease in industrial consumption. In December 2022, it decreased by 15% y/y according to the IMCEi index of the Italian operator Terna. Demand decreased in almost all sectors, especially in the ferrous and non-ferrous sectors.

As GMK Center reported earlier, seven EU countries – Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg and Latvia – call on Brussels not to hurry with serious changes in the EU electricity market as a response to the energy crisis. Instead, they suggest focusing on limited measures. The seven countries appealed to the EC, saying that the existing market structure in Europe has helped lower electricity prices for years, helped expand renewable energy and ensured that enough electricity was produced to meet demand and avoid shortages.