Power demand in most of Europe’s larger economies has plunged to levels normally seen on weekends as movement restrictions have been applied across Europe to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, a tracking by IHS Markit’s Global Power and Renewables service during the week up to Sunday, April 5, found.
“Power demand is now significantly below the 2015-2019 range in many major European markets. There are signs that demand is stabilizing in those markets with lockdowns in place the longest,” said the analyst firm’s executive director Catherine Robinson.
“Across much of Europe the weekday profile now resembles what you would see during a typical weekend. For European power, every day is a Sunday.”
Electricity demand is down 20-25% in hard-hit France and Italy, for example, and also significantly below the 2015-19 range in Spain and the UK.
Italy, Spain and the UK are also the European countries that currently are the hardest hit by the coronavirus in terms of casualties, with 17,127, 14,045 and 6,171 people dying from the respiratory disease respectively, according to the data base of the Johns Hopkins University.
Among the major economies, demand only in Germany remained within the historical range, IHS Markit said.
The analysts think that is due to the high share of industry in power demand, including an important share from chemicals which is central to efforts to contain the virus. In Germany 45% of power demand comes from industry compared to 29% in France. In the latter, the service sector also is more important.
Demand dropped outside the historical range in week 11 in Italy, week 12 in France and Spain, and week 13 in the United Kingdom, reflecting the spread of the virus and the subsequent restrictions imposed by countries to contain it, IHS Markit said.