Natural gas consumption grows by 14% in 2019 to set a new record in Spain

30 December 2019

• Demand for natural gas in Spain reaches 398 TWh, the highest level since 2010

• This increase is mainly due to the increase in demand for electricity generation, growing by 80%

• Industrial demand grows by 2% to reach 214 TWh, the highest figure since disaggregated data for industrial consumption has been collected

• The replacement of coal by natural gas in the energy mix allows CO2 emissions to be reduced by 25%

The demand for natural gas in Spain ended 2019 with growth in the order of 14% over the previous year, reaching 398 TWh*, the highest figure since 2010. This increase was mainly due to extraordinarily high demand for natural gas for electricity generation and higher industrial consumption.

Demand for natural gas for power generation in 2019 grew by about 80% compared to the previous year, reaching 111 TWh, the highest figure recorded since 2010. This strong increase was mainly due to a greater share of natural gas in the thermal gap over coal – in a context where natural gas prices are more competitive – and to low hydroelectric power generation this year.

Industrial demand, which accounts for approximately 54% of total natural gas consumption, reached 214 TWh, an increase of about 2% over that of the previous year. This is the highest figure ever recorded since disaggregated data for industrial consumption has been collected. Demand grew in almost all industrial sectors, particularly in the services sector.

The regions where total natural gas demand increased the most in 2019 were Navarre (+65%), Asturias (+36%) and Galicia (+34%).

In a context of high levels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and lower prices than in other European countries, Spain increased its natural gas exports to Europe via the Pyrenees in the last two months of the year.

Emissions reduction
The replacement of coal by natural gas was the main factor behind the 25% reduction in CO2 emissions in the energy mix compared to 2018. This prevented the emission into the atmosphere of 14 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions produced by almost 6 million cars a year**.

In a context of energy transition, these figures show the important role played by natural gas in guaranteeing supply and as a back-up for renewable energies at times of record demand.

*This information is provisional pending definitive end-of-year figures.

**Based on average emissions per car of 2.5 tonnes CO2/year travelling an annual distance of 15,000 km, according to the standards of the most recent report published by the Ministry for Ecological Transition in 2018, "2016 Carbon Footprint".


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