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    Spanish Gas Demand Grows, Coal Drops


Low prices and less hydro have boosted demand for gas, particularly in the power generation sector.

by: William Powell

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Spanish Gas Demand Grows, Coal Drops

Spain's gas consumption for the first nine months of the year has risen to 294 TWh, up 16.9% on January-September, Spanish transmission system operator Enagas said October 1. "This increase is due to an extraordinary demand for natural gas for electricity generation and a growing demand for gas in industry," it said.

The replacement of coal with natural gas has been the main factor that has led to a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions in the power generation mix with respect to the same period last year, it said.

Demand is the highest cumulative figure since 2009. Electricity generation running on gas reached 85 TWh from January to September, an increase of 99% compared with 2018. This is because gas has been cheaper and hydroelectricity generation has been hit by low rainfall.

Industrial demand, which represents around 54% of total natural gas consumption, reached 160 TWh in the first nine months of the year, up 3% on the same period last year. This is the highest figure at the end of September since disaggregated data for industrial consumption has been collected. Demand grew in almost all industrial sectors, particularly in services and paper manufacturing, it said.

Enagas said: "In a context of energy transition, these data show the important role that natural gas plays in guaranteeing supply and as a back-up for renewable energies at times of record demand."