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Greek power demand down 13% in April as renewables thrive

Highlights

Renewables match gas-firing

Lignite, spot prices collapse

'Uneconomic' import rights noted

London — Greek electricity demand fell 13% in April on a year on year comparison as renewables all but matched gas-fired generation on the supply side, according to data from the Energy Exchange Group.

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With lignite generation collapsing, the key relationship in Greece's generation mix is no longer between gas and lignite, but between gas and renewables.

Combined wind and solar generation has consistently exceeded 1 TWh/month this year and could quite possibly surpass gas-fired generation for the first time over a full month in August.

For April gas met 35.4% of national net power demand, renewables 34.6%, imports 22.1%, hydro 4.7% and lignite just 3.1%.

With regard to electricity imports for April of 754 GWh, EnEx noted "anti-economic" flows from Italy for 461 hours in the month (64% of the time) and for 265 hours with Bulgaria.

These are hours of actual imports from a higher-priced market to a lower-priced market under short-term capacity rights that would not have taken place if the respective markets had been market-coupled, the system operator said.

In the market, system spot prices fell heavily, down Eur15.14/MWh (34%) on the month and 54% year on year to average Eur28.51/MWh – the lowest monthly price in Greece for four years.

State generator PPC's domestic generation market share in April was stable on the month at 26% (including the hived off Megalopolis plant), while DAPEEP, the system operator's renewable energy single buyer subsidiary, saw its share rise over two percentage points from March to 36%.

Then came the country's leading independent combined cycle gas turbine operators Mytilineos (10.5%) and Elpedison (10%) , both down on the month, followed by Korinthos Power (6%, this plant 65%-owned by Mytilineos) and Heron II Viotias (5.5%).

GREECE: ENERGY BALANCE APRIL 2020 (GWh)

Apr-20

YoY change (%)

YTD 2020

YoY change (%)

Production
Lignite
106
- 88
2,186
-48
Natural gas
1,207
16
5,298
-7
Hydro
160
32
506
-33
Renewables
1,180
60
4,359
25
Total production
2,654
- 7
12,348
-13
Imports
754
- 34
3,998
-11
Exports
122
- 46
347
-77
Import/export balance
632
- 31
3,651
24
Demand
Low voltage customers
1,933
- 19
10,225
-9
Medium voltage customers
699
- 19
3,512
-10
High voltage customers
641
22
2,202
10
Total demand
3,286
- 13
16,000
-7
Peak load (MW)
6,948 (06/04/2020, 21:00)
2
8,553 (07/01/2020, 20:00)
-6
Figures rounded to nearest integer
Source: Energy Exchange Group