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European power demand rebounds in H1, West Europe still below 2019


Germany up 5.2% to 286 TWh: BDEW

France up 7.6% to 242 TWh: RTE

Great Britain up 7% at 126 TWh: NG

Electricity demand across Europe's two biggest markets -- Germany and France -- rebounded 6%, or 32 TWh year-on-year in the first six months of 2021, data aggregated by S&P Global Platts showed.

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In Germany, demand rose 5.2%, or almost 15 TWh to 285.5 TWh, BDEW estimates for H1 showed.

BDEW data is seen as the most complete data as it includes some industrial and other installations and aspects not captured by the TSO data.

The data aggregated by Fraunhofer ISE was pegged at 252 TWh for the period, up by a similar amount. In France, H1 demand rose 7.6% on the year to 242 TWh, data by grid operator RTE showed.

June demand was only 3% higher on the year at 31.6 TWh. Overall, average demand in both markets remained below 2019 levels.

On the supply side, both French nuclear and Germany renewables saw their shares in the power mix decline.

French nuclear rose 4% on the year to 181 TWh, covering some 75% of French domestic power demand in H1 2021 compared to 77% a year ago, RTE data showed.

In Germany, renewables output fell 11% on the year to 122 TWh with the share of renewables falling to 43% from a record 51% a year ago, BDEW said.

Demand rebound to flatten in Q3

Across Europe, there was a similar trend with weather (heating/cooling demand) and the various impacts of the coronavirus crisis on industrial activity and work patters the biggest drivers.

In Great Britain, demand recovered 7% on the year to 125.8 TWh for H1 2021, National Grid data (INDO) showed.

Looking ahead, S&P Global Platts Analytics only predicts a 1% on the year gain for demand in the third quarter for the 10 major West European markets surveyed.

Last summer, demand already started to recover from the first lockdowns mainly focused on Q2 2020, according Platts Analytics' head of European power analysis Glenn Rickson, with summer demand predictions uncertain both from a weather and a COVID-19 perspective.

The Q3 outlook for European power was dominated by the rally for gas and carbon prices, with bearish fundamentals for French nuclear and European renewables unable to offset to price impact.