Irish energy demand increase as lockdown restrictions are lifted

Research from Cornwall Insight Ireland highlights that as the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across Ireland, energy demand in the Single Electricity Market (SEM) has increased. Weekday demand has risen by 3% (3GWh) on average, with current weekday demand levels averaging 94GWh since the lockdown restrictions started to ease on 18 May.

Joe Camish Analyst at Cornwall Insight Ireland said:

“This increase in demand can, at least in part, be attributed to the easing of lockdown restrictions. 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.

“In fact, since the start of phase 1, peak power levels increased by 7% (0.3GW) on average, with current peak demand sitting at around 5.0GW.

“Although demand has increased, it is still relatively modest. This is partly due to many workers still being advised to work from home if possible, while many larger industrial or commercial businesses have either only recently restarted operations, or are operating at a reduced capacity. Demand will also be dampened by the natural change in demand patterns as we move deeper into the summer.

“As further restrictions are lifted the energy demand will be bolstered. However, it is unlikely that power demand in the SEM will reach the same levels as last year amid poor economic forecasts in the coming months.”