Drought affects European hydropower production


2022 will be remembered for the energy crisis, but aside from the energy markets, what is happening in Europe with the drought is remarkable. And it is that hydroelectric production is low, especially in Spain.

We are facing a high probability that 2022 will be the year with the lowest hydroelectric production in the history of Spain. Only a few heavy rains could help things a bit, but even with those, Spain is not immune to such a painful debacle both economically and from a sustainability point of view.


Spanish hydroelectric production

Spanish hydroelectric production so far this year is 13,262 GWh. Since 2007, the year with the lowest electricity production is 2017 with 18,451 GWh. To remedy this, it will have to produce nearly 5,200 GWh during these three weeks of October and the other two months. That is about 1,700 GWh on average each month to overcome it. Something that has not been done in the last four months, since last May.

But the situation of the reservoirs is alarming. According to data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, hydraulic reservoirs only have less than 6,000 GWh of energy at this time of year, or 25% of the total available capacity. In order to break the low yield record of 2017, it would need a lot of rain in the coming weeks to be able to generate enough electricity from hydroelectric plants to overcome it.

The least of Europe

According to data from S&P Global Platts, Spain and Portugal (Iberia) are the countries suffering the most from the drought with almost half of the electricity generated by hydroelectric plants compared to last year.

It is followed by Italy which generated 29% less until September, France (-19%), Austria (-9%) and the three Nordic countries (-7%). In total, in Europe, hydroelectric power plants produce 13% less Until September 30, a total production of 298.7 TWh was reached.

Character font: Ramón Roca / The Energy Diary

Reference article: https://elperiodicodelaenergia.com/la-sequia-hace-estragos-en-la-produccion-hidroelectrica-europea-y-se-ensana-con-espana/

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