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Nordic power use falls 4% on virus impact – analyst

(Montel) Power consumption in the Nordic region has fallen around 4% amid the coronavirus pandemic, analysts StormGeo said on Thursday.

The largest decrease in the region was in Denmark, at about 8%, analyst Vegard Svarstad said during a webinar.

Danish TSO Energinet also presented figures on Thursday which painted a similar picture, showing a 7% drop in electricity use between 2 March and 5 April.

The main decline was in the service sector, with the drop in industry at around 4%, it said.

A greater share of electricity in Norway, Sweden and Finland is used for heating and therefore these countries' power demand is less affected by the current crisis, Svarstad said.

The decline in the Nordic region was however less than expected and not as severe as in other parts of Europe, where France has seen a 20% slide in power demand, he added.

Industry could also be taking advantage of the currently low power prices in order to maintain output and boost stocks, he said.

Nordic spot power has averaged EUR 4.51/MWh so far in April and the Q3 futures contract at Nasdaq Commodities was trading at EUR 10.45/MWh on Thursday afternoon. Prices are at their lowest for the last 20 years after a wet and mild winter left the region's hydropower stocks well-filled.

However, demand could fall in the coming months. Swedish car maker Volvo will ramp up production next week, while paper manufacturers Norske Skog and SCA will cut output in the coming weeks.

StormGeo estimates the virus will cut Nordic power demand by around 4.5% in May and June, and 4% in the third quarter.

Last week Montel’s Energy Quantified (EQ) said the large fall in European power demand seen during lockdowns is steadying.

Reporting by:
Gert Ove Mollestad
15:33, Thursday, 16 April 2020