• This is the second consecutive year of growth in demand for natural gas since 2008
• The industrial sector, the main consumer of natural gas, has increased demand by 3% in line with the evolution of the economy
The national demand for natural gas in 2016 has grown by 2% compared to 2015, reaching 321 TWh. This growth was mainly driven by the 3% increase in conventional natural gas demand for domestic, commercial, SME and industrial consumption.
Industrial demand for natural gas increased by 3% in 2016, compared to 2015, in line with the evolution of the economy. Growth this year, in demand in the construction sector stands at around 11%, driven by the boom in gas consumption in the manufacture of ceramic products. Other sectors that have increased their demand have been the sectors of the electricity (9%), services (6%) and metallurgy (5%).
In addition, consumption of natural gas in households, businesses and SMEs has grown by 2.3% over the previous year, mainly resulting from the incorporation of new customers and temperatures slightly lower than those recorded in 2015.
The demand for natural gas for electricity generation, which registered a decrease of around 2% in relation to the previous year in 2016, broke monthly records in October and November, which highlights the importance of natural gas as a back up in the power generation mix. Among the factors that motivated these records are the lower contributions from wind and hydro power to electricity generation and the increase in electricity exports to France, mainly owing to the shutdown of nuclear power plants in this country.
In 2016, the industrial market continued to be the main consumer of gas, with 59% of the total, followed by the domestic-commercial sector, with 19%, power stations, with another 19%, and liquefied natural gas tankers, with 3%.