Demand changes since the easing of COVID-19 measures
03rd July 2020
This article was originally published on 14 June 2020 in our Irish Energy Market Bulletin.
In this week’s focus we will have another look at the ongoing impact on demand from COVID-19 mitigation measures. This comes in the light of the easing of restrictions in both Northern Ireland (NI) and Ireland.
On 18 May, the Irish government started its Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which saw the easing of COVID-19 measures over a series of five phases. This has since been accelerated and seen a reconfigured roadmap consisting of just four phases, with Phase 3 beginning on 29 June and Phase 4 on 20 July. The NI Executive published a similar phased approach to easing restrictions, consisting of five stages.
Since the start of Phase 1 to date, daily weekday demand has risen by 3% (3GWh) on average, with current weekday demand levels averaging 94GWh. This period has also seen peak power levels increase by 7% (0.3GW) on average, with current peak demand sitting at around 5.0GW. The modest increase in demand is partly due to many workers still being advised to work from home if possible. While many larger industrial or commercial business have either only recently restarted operations or are operating at a reduced capacity.
When compared to demand levels when we saw the first major announcement on 12 March in the ROI, demand remains 14% lower on average when compared to the first week of restrictions (108.7GWh).
However, when looking at this we will have to factor in the natural change in demand patterns as we enter deeper into the Summer, when compared with the backend of the winter season.