Friday, 17 February 2017

Share of gas-fired electricity up 7.2% on year in Italy in Jan

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January power sales on GME platforms [source: GME monthly report] January power sales on GME platforms [source: GME monthly report]

The share of electricity generated from gas-fired power plants sold on the Italian day-ahead regulated electricity market continued to see year on year increases in January, standing at 53.3% of total sales against 46.1% in January 2016, according to data from exchange manager Gestore Mercati Energetici (GME).

Conversely, electricity generated from renewables and traded on the platform remained lower than the levels seen a year before, standing at 25.3% against 29.9%, continuing a trend seen over the winter, GME said in its monthly report.

In the same period, coal-fired generation decreased from 11.6% to 10% of total sales, and other thermal (such as heating oil) sources' electricity share stood at 10.3% (11.2% the previous year). Pumped storage stood at 1.1% (1.3% in January 2016).

Commenting on market trends seen over the month, the report highlighted the “cold snap that affected the most part of the first month of 2017” which prompted a hike in electricity prices on the main European power exchanges, and was further boosted by issues with nuclear output in France.

In Italy, it noted a strong reduction in imports and higher exports and sales from national power plants, notably gas-fired plants.

Gas-to-power demand rises 24.6% at 2.65 Bcm

Gas consumption for power generation totalled 2.65 billion cubic meters in January (up 24.6% year on year), thus rising to its highest in the past seven years, GME noted.

Industrial gas demand rose 10.4% to 1.28 Bcm in the same period, while demand for heating increased 20.5% to 6.7 Bcm, the highest level in the past eleven years, on the back of plummeting temperatures over the month.

Gas imports were at nearly 7 Bcm, up 32.8% year on year.

A strong rise was seen in flows through all the major pipeline entry points: Algerian gas imports through Mazara del Vallo were 31.4% higher year on year at 2.1 Bcm; Russian flows through Tarvisio were hiked by 52.6% to 3.13 Bcm; Libyan imports through Gela rose 19.7% to 477 million cubic meters and Northern European flows into Passo Gries posted gains of 17.4%, standing at 760 million cu m.

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