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    Spain's Gas Use Surges in November, So Does Coal


Spanish gas use outside power generation reached an all-time November high. Its use in power generation was strong too, but coal's was stronger.

by: Daniel Stemler

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Carbon, Gas to Power, Political, Environment, News By Country, Algeria, Angola, Peru, Qatar, Spain

Spain's Gas Use Surges in November, So Does Coal

Spanish conventional gas demand (use by homes, businesses and industries) hit an all-time high in November, while gas deliveries for power generation hit a six-year high.

Despite the higher gas use in Spain, the bad news for emissions was that coal was the dominant fuel in power generation last month.

Spain’s gas system operator Enagas said November 30 that ‘conventional’ gas demand this November increased by 11% to reach a record 36.698 terawatt-hours (3.4bn m3). It was helped by industrial demand in particular, forecast to reach 18.6 TWh (1.73bn m3).

Gas supplied for power generation also reached its highest figure since 2011, with 0.553 TWh (50mn m3) delivered on a single day (November 16) because of low hydroelectricity generation and the closure of two of the country’s eight nuclear power plants. Combined-cycle gas-fired plants (CCGTs) with a 21% share were the second most important source of Spain’s power mix in November, "highlighting the key role played by natural gas in guaranteeing power supplies" said Enagas.

But it was left to Spanish power system operator REE to point out that the largest fuel supplier to Spanish generators in November 2017 was coal, with a share of 21.9%, so just ahead of gas CCGTs on 21.6%, wind generation 18.2% and nuclear 16.9%. Co-generation (in Spain's case, either gas or coal) accounted for a further 11.3%.

To date, Spain’s gas demand this year has grown by more than 9% over the same period in 2016, noted Enagas. Its data published mid-November showed that Spanish LNG imports in the period from November 2016 until October 2017 period grew exponentially compared to the January December 2016 period.

Peru delivered an additional 1.64bn m3 (17.625 TWh) gas, while Qatar, the US and Angola shipped an extra 0.64bn, 0.44bn and 0.27bn m3 gas respectively (all in the form of LNG) to Spain.

Imports by pipeline from France, the key entry point for Norwegian and Russian gas to Spain, grew by 0.67bn m3 (7.2 TWh) in November 2016-October 2017, compared to the full year of 2016.

It meant that France and Peru, with respective Spanish market shares of 12% and 10%, pushed ahead of erstwhile 3rd ranked supplier Qatar (9%). The top two suppliers remained Algeria with a combined 48% share (supplied by pipe and as LNG) and Nigeria (14% all supplied as LNG).