Electricity consumption in Austria year on year
Electricity Consumption in Austria: Lockdown and Mild November Cost Seven Percent
APG analysis: new lockdown reduces electricity consumption in Austria by seven percent. On a European level France is currently worst-off with a record minus of 14 percent.

Vienna (OTS) - During the cold season traditionally more electricity is consumed. However, the shutdown of retail businesses clearly has an effect on electricity consumption. After the first weeks of the partial lockdown and one week (CW 47) of the strict lockdown in November the consumption is lagging 7 percent behind the consumption of the reference period in 2019. “Given the peak of the corona crisis in May where the consumption dropped by up to 15 percent, the current situation can be described as stabilization at a lower level compared to last year. Another reason why currently less electricity is consumed in comparison to last year are the much milder temperatures in November“, says Gerhard Christiner, APG’s CTO. The lower demand is also reflected by the electricity price. “With approximately 32 Euros per MWh the weekly electricity rate in calendar week 44 is almost 10 Euros lower than the rate of 2019“, says CFO Thomas Karall. Both managers emphasize that “the current general conditions have no effect on the security of supply.”

A look at the electricity consumption in Europe shows that especially France with currently minus 14 percent, and Spain with minus 11 percent in comparison to last year are clearly suffering from the effects of the corona crisis. In both countries the measures of a comprehensive strict lockdown are reflected by the electricity consumption figures, while in Germany (minus two percent) and the Czech Republic (zero percent) the pandemic is barely recognizable in the electricity consumption (cf. diagram comparison electricity consumption in Europe).

Production from renewables still strong

“Even though the production of green electricity traditionally decreases in the winter, the share of green energy is still high. This is mainly due to the good streamflow. The run-of-river power plants along the Danube were able to produce up to 40 percent more than the long-term average on certain days“, explains Christiner. During the cold season it is hardly possible to cover the electricity demand with 100 percent energy from renewables. Currently Austria figures among the electricity importing countries in Europe. “The year-on-year comparison of the month October shows that with 241 GWh the import volume in 2020 is not even a quarter of the imported volume in 2019 (1069 GWh). This can be explained with the good streamflow and the comparably reduced need of heating due to the mild weather in October“, states Christiner. However, the green electricity from renewables cannot be made fully available due to lacking grid capacities. In 2020 the redispatch measures that were necessary almost every day already caused costs of € 115 million (cf. diagram Redispatch). “APG’s projected grid expansion and modernization projects, like the Salzburg line, the renovation of the Weinviertel line, or the improved supply of the central area of Upper Austria are therefore indispensable for ensuring security of supply, easy integration of renewables and affordable electricity in Austria and thus strengthening the countries position as sustainable location for business and industry“, explains Karall.

APG has been keeping track of the development of the electricity consumption since the beginning of the corona crisis and is regularly publishing diagrams at https://www.apg.at/infografiken regarding the topics: energy consumption in Austria, energy consumption in Europe, import/export, electricity prices, production from renewables etc.