Electricity demand in the interconnected system, covering about 90% of total domestic demand, was almost flat in December compared to the same month last year. Demand in 2013 was down by 3.7% y-o-y, according to data issued by the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE).
In terms of supply mix, in December renewables and lignite increased by 14% and 3% respectively, compared to December 2012, while supply from natural gas and hydro was down by 8% and 39%, respectively. On a 2013 basis, hydro and renewables were up by 40% and 45%, respectively, while lignite and natural gas were down by 16% and 14%, respectively.
“The significant decline of demand in 2013 is attributed to unfavourable weather conditions prevailing during peak seasons (warm winter and cool summer) and the impact of the economic crisis,” explained Vassilis Roumantzis, analyst at the Investment Bank of Greece.
“Assuming normal weather conditions this year, the return to economic growth after a prolonged recession should help demand to recover. On the supply front, the picture in 2013 was mixed as the significant increase in hydro (despite the decline in December) and the increasing penetration of photovoltaic plants resulted in the substantial reduction of lignite and natural gas contribution to the mix.
“Based on our supply/demand forecasts, we see the reserve margin remaining relatively high for a few more years and average SMP hovering around EUR 70/MWh,” Roumantzis added.
“In this framework, we expect lignite-fired power plants and hydroelectric plants recording a satisfactory profitability (positive for PPC), however, combined-cyle gas turbine (CCGT) plants should remain dependent on capacity payments in the medium-term, neutral for independent power producers (IPPs).”
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