20% drop in weekday Irish electricity demand due to COVID-19

With a large proportion of specific sectors throughout Ireland having either closed or scaled back their operations due to COVID-19; a significant drop in Ireland’s electricity demand on weekdays has been observed.

In fact, research from Cornwall Insight Ireland, comparing the first week in March with last week, shows that the average daily demand across the island of Ireland on weekdays has fallen by 20% or 23.4GWh since initial announcements in March. Electricity demand levels are also averaging 254MW lower across the day than the same period last year.

A graph showing average irish electricity demand

Cathal Ryan Lead analyst at Cornwall Insight Ireland said:

“There has been a significant drop in peak demands. Peak power levels are down by 4% year on year owing to COVID-19’s arrival, averaging 240MW lower.

“The morning peak has seen the most noticeable drop with the profile of the demand curve flattening. The time of the morning peak has now shifted forward by nearly two hours as a large number of the population are either out of work or working from home.

“With the current restrictions in Ireland set to run until 5 May. It will likely take some time for demand to return to normal levels. The return to ‘normal’ working patterns will be a phased removal of restrictions, slowly bringing demand close to historical levels.

“However, with many businesses looking at how they can work more remotely post COVID-19, it begs the question will demand ever fully recover.”