Western Europe's power sector gas demand falls
London, 4 December (Argus) — The UK and Germany led western Europe's power sector gas demand lower in November, despite the highest Spanish consumption since September 2011.
Consumption was down from a year earlier for the third month in a row. It had previously been up every month since October 2015.
German gas-fired generation slipped to 135 GWh/d from 183 GWh/d a year earlier as renewable output climbed. But Dutch industrial demand, which includes the power sector, rose slightly.
Dutch and German prompt gas prices climbed last month to levels that were uncompetitive with coal, which may have helped reduce demand in the region.
UK power sector gas burn also dropped despite net exports to France, where lower nuclear generation boosted demand for electricity imports.
French gas-fired generation was slightly down from a year earlier, despite the limited nuclear availability.
But power sector gas consumption climbed in southern Europe, where low hydroelectric generation has boosted thermal output.
Spanish power sector gas burn of 330 GWh/d was up from 249 GWh/d a year earlier and the highest for any month since September 2011. Italy's power plants also burned more gas.
Low hydroelectric stocks in southern Europe following an extended drought has resulted in gas consumption climbing, especially with weak French power exports because of the low nuclear availability.
Spanish hydroelectric generation fell to 34.1 GWh/d from 57.3 GWh/d. It has only been lower in one month since the start of 2011, which was the 28.5 GWh/d in October 2017.
Dutch gas becomes less competitive with coal €/MWh
French power exports GW
French nuclear generation GW
Power sector gas demand change from a year earlier GWh/d
Western Europe's power sector gas demand GWh/d
Spanish generation mix GWh/d