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Electricity imports hit all-time high in the year up to May


In the year to date, electricity consumption grew 2.7%, or 3.0% when correcting for temperature and working days. The capability index stood at 0.35 for hydropower (historical average of 1), at 0.95 for wind (historical average of 1), and 1.06 for solar (historical average of 1). Despite the very low hydraulicity value, renewable generation supplied 49% of electricity consumption between January and May, split between wind-power with 26%, hydropower with 12%, biomass with 7%, and photovoltaics with 5%. Generation from natural gas supplied 30% of consumption, while the import balance supplied the remaining 21%.
Electricity imports in the first five months of the year reached the highest value ever recorded in the Portuguese electricity system, with 4402 GWh, compared with the previous 4203 GWh recorded in the same period in 2008.
In May, electricity consumption maintained the growth trend of recent months, registering a year-on-year monthly variation of 2.9%, or 1.9% when correcting for the effects of temperature and number of working days. Also in this period, the hydropower regime remained dry, with an index of 0.42 (historical average of 1), and the wind regime also presented a value below the historical average (0.88). Only the photovoltaic regime was above average, recording 1.05 (historical average of 1). Also in May, renewable generation supplied 45% of consumption, while non-renewables supplied 33%. The remaining 22% consisted of imported energy.
In the natural gas market, a 3.2% increase was recorded in May, resulting from a 22% drop in the conventional market, which was compensated by the increase in the electricity generation segment, which recorded a year-on-year increase of around 70%. The supply was carried out entirely from the Sines LNG terminal, with exports via the interconnection with Spain, which accounted for nearly 16% of domestic consumption this month.
In the period from January to May, the accumulated annual consumption of natural gas was practically in line with that observed in the same period of the previous year, recording an overall increase of 0.2%, resulting from a drop of 23% in the conventional segment and from an increase of 67% in the electricity generation segment.