COVID-19, electrical system and contribution of wind energy

Wind power generation contributes 27.6% of demand, the market price is the lowest in the last 4 years and CO2 emissions from the electrical system reach a record low.

Wind energy generation in March
Wind turbines has generated 15% more in March than in 2019.
If we compare the wind generation values of March 2020 compared to those of 2019, wind farm generation has been 15% higher, although it has not exceeded the historical maximum of generation that occurred in March 2018.

The higher wind power generation and the reduction in demand have caused that, in relation to prices, in the electricity market, the month of March has marked the lowest arithmetic average price in the last 4 years with 27.74 € / MWh, being hydraulic technology which has married 45% of the hours.

Wind power generation in March was 5,543 GWh, with demand coverage of 27.6% this month, according to Red Eléctrica data. Wind turbines has represented a great price reducing effect in this month, especially in the first days of March, when there was a great contribution from wind energy generation.
The fall in electricity demand due to COVID-19 and the increase in wind power generation and other renewables has led to CO2 emissions from the electricity system reaching an all-time low in March. With only 1.85 M Ton CO2, and an average of 0.09 TonCO2 / MWh (preliminary data from Red Eléctrica), there has been a reduction of 30% compared to March last year. Just five years ago, the sector’s average emissions in March were 0.17 TonCO2 / MWh, almost double compared to this past March.

Evolution of the market price and electricity demand (comparative demand in March 2006-2020)
Source: REE and OMIE
Deepening in this analysis, if the hourly demand of the month of March 2020 is compared with that of 2019, it is observed how the demand in the past month of March exceeded in some days and followed the same pattern as that of March 2019, until last March 9. Day on which the first measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic were officially communicated. And from that day to the end of the month, demand has been clearly lower, with working days on which consumption has been the same as on holidays in March 2019, as shown in the graph.

Comparison of demand in the months of March 2019 and 2020
Source: REE
In recent years, a drop in demand has been observed compared to previous years, partly influenced by the variation in temperatures, but also due to a reduction in industrial and service consumption, as REE has indicated in its monthly reports. . The following graph shows the evolution of annual demand in recent years.

Evolution of demand from 2005 to 2019
Annual cumulative peninsular demand (GWh)
Source: REE