Natural gas demand in Spain grew by nearly 14% at the end of 2019, reaching 395 terawatt hour (TWh), the highest since 2010, according to a report prepared by Endesa.
The report highlights that this rise was mainly boosted by a growing demand for natural gas for electricity generation and greater consumption in the industry.
— Enagás (@enagas) December 30, 2019
Greater demand for electricity generation
The document indicates that natural gas demand for electricity generation grew about 80% from last year, standing at 111 TWh.
This growth also constitutes a new record since 2010.
The main reason behind this rise is greater participation of natural gas in thermoelectric generation, as compared with coal.
According to the document, this situation comes in a scenario in which natural gas prices are more competitive; in addition to lower hydro generation in 2019.
On the other hand, in the last two months of the year, Spain increased natural gas exports to Europe across the Pyrenees.
This rise came in a scenario that combined the high storage capacity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and lower prices than in the rest of European countries.
A slight increase in industrial demand
The study also explains that industrial demand went up by nearly 2% from 2018, reaching 214 TWh; the highest on record for industrial consumption.
On the other hand, industrial demand accounts for nearly 54% of total gas consumption, it indicates.
Similarly, the demand increased in nearly all industrial sectors, with the greatest increase seen in the service sector.
Emissions reduction factor
Replacing coal with natural gas has been the main factor the enabled to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% from 2018, Endesa assured in its report. “This has prevented the emission of 14 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, equal to the emissions produced by 6 million cars in a year.”
As to its value in the energy transition process, “this data evidences the significant role played by natural gas in emissions reduction and as a back up for renewable energies at times of record demand,” it says.
The regions that saw the greatest rise of total natural gas demand in 2019 were Navarra (+65%), Asturias (+36%), and Galicia (+34%).
For more information, check Energía16