Over the last few years, the electricity consumption in the European Union has reportedly decoupled from economic growth. This is clearly reflected in the EU’s latest reports on the gas and electricity markets that include 2017 (last quarter), and have just been published. The reports contain a wide range of data about the electricity and gas supply and usage in the EU.
The GDP of EU has shown an increase of around 12% between 2010 and the end of 2017. Meanwhile, in the same period, the electricity consumption is said to have decreased by 4%. It was reported that in December 2017, the wind energy generated (41 TWh – terawatt hours) in the EU was more than ever before, that is equivalent to around 16% of the EU’s electricity mix.
The wholesale electricity prices in the EU, in the fourth quarter, were reported to be generally higher as compared with the previous quarter. This was attributed to higher seasonal demand during the onset of the winter period. Also, the increasing use of fossil fuels in power generation, as significant nuclear capacities was taken out of use in France either due to safety inspections or maintenance works. Meanwhile, the retail electricity prices for household customers were also up by 5% in December 2017.
In 2017, the EU gas consumption was 491 bcm (billion cubic metres), as per the gas market report. This was 6% more than 2016, and highest since 2010. Apart from which, Europe received its first cargo from Yamal LNG from Novatek, which is a first-time supply from this company. And, EU LNG imports have reportedly increased by around 16% in the last quarter of 2017.