Trends in electricity production – February 2023

According to the latest monthly data for the interconnected electricity network from ADMIE – IPTO (February 2023):

Renewables (3235 GWh) surpassed gas and lignite combined (2821 GWh), producing more electricity than any other source during the first two months of 2023. They were followed by gas (1804 GWh), which decreased significantly in the first 2 months of the year (-41%) and almost reached its 2016 levels. Net imports were in third place (1632 GWh) and were followed by lignite (1017 GWh) and large hydro (640 GWh).

The large decrease in production from gas (-1247 GWh) in the first 2 months of the year compared to the respective period of 2022, was covered by the large reduction in electricity demand (-726 GWh), while significant were also the contributions from the increase in net imports (382 GWh) and renewables (+292 GWh). To a lesser extent, the small increase observed in lignite production (+95 GWh) also contributed to this.

The corresponding percentage changes in the first 2 months of the year compared to the same period in 2022 were:

Lignite: +10.31%

Fossil gas: -40.87%

Renewables: +9.94%

Large hydro: -28.01%

Net imports: +30.52%

Demand: -8.02%

Cumulatively, clean energy (3874 GWh) surpassed energy from fossil fuels (2820 GWh) on Greece’s electricity grid during the first two months of the year, despite the reduced contribution from large hydro in 2023.

Thus, cumulatively, clean energy in Greece covered 46.5% of the demand during the first two months of the year and was followed by fossil gas (21.7%), net imports (19.6%) and lignite (12.2%).

Especially for February 2023:

  • Production from gas was the fourth lowest of the last 14 months.
  • Net imports, although maintained at high levels, were halved compared to the previous month.

European commitments for electricity consumption reduction

According to the Council’s Regulation of September 30, 2022, each member state: (A) aims to reduce the total gross monthly electricity consumption during the period November 2022 – March 2023 by 10% compared to the average of the corresponding months of the previous five years. (B) Is obliged to reduce its peak hour gross electricity consumption each day of the period December 2022 – March 2023 by 5% compared to a reference scenario. The latter is determined by the transmission system operators of each Member State and may include historical data from the Regulations’ reference period, meaning the last five years. Peak hours in Greece were set to be 18:00 – 21:00. However, the reference scenario against which the comparison is made, has not yet been formally defined.

In February 2023, the fourth month of the implementation of the 10% goal to reduce total electricity consumption, Greece did reduce the demand in the interconnected system, but only by 2.88% compared to the average of the previous 5 years, much less than the target of 10%. Cumulatively, for the entire period of the implementation of the measure (November 2022 – February 2023), Greece has achieved a reduction in demand in the interconnected system of -8.69% compared to the average of the previous 5 years, a percentage however lower than the target of -10% set by the EU.

In addition, February was the third month of the implementation of the EU measure for reducing electricity consumption during peak hours. This measure aims at reducing the need to operate fossil gas power plants, thus reducing the electricity production costs as well.

The following graph shows the electricity consumption during the peak hours of 18:00 – 21:00 – as defined by Greece – for each day in February. The result is compared with the average consumption during the same hours of the same period of the previous 5 years. The graph further shows the cumulative peak hour consumption during the same period for the 3 months that the measure is implemented.

As it can be seen, the average monthly reduction in February peak hour consumption reached 5.54%. But even though the average monthly reduction was more than 5%, that is not the case for all days of February. For 10 out of the 28 days in February, peak consumption in 2023 was higher than the corresponding average of the previous five years. Cumulatively, in the 3 months of the measure’s validity (December 2022 – February 2023) the reduction in peak hours consumption compared to the five- year average was 11.48%.