Wednesday 9/23/20
RECESSION

Falling activity cut Finland's electricity consumption amid pandemic

Restrictive measures included the closure of factories and many companies lowered production levels due to a lack of demand or because of interruption to their supply chain.
A shopping store in the Greater Helsinki area. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
A shopping store in the Greater Helsinki area. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

Since the coronavirus was labelled a global pandemic, in mi-March 2020, the European Union (EU) member states have taken restrictive measures to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

These measures included the closure of factories, schools, restaurants, bars and hotels, and required people to stay at home. Many companies lowered production levels due to a lack of demand or because of interruption to their supply chain.

Restrictions were in full force for the entire month of April. By the end of May and continuing into June, many countries started to partially remove them and the tourism season began. However, June data show a lower electricity consumption in most member states, including Finland.

The latest figures released by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) show that the total EU electricity consumption in June 2020 was 7.6% lower than the lowest June value recorded between 2016 and 2019.

Electricity-consumption-EU-2020

Reduction in Finland

When compared with the lowest June level since 2016, seven member states (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal and Finland) show a reduction in electricity consumption of 5% to 10%, while for eight member states the drop was between 1% and 5% (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia).

Greece, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Slovenia show a decrease of more than 10%. As tourism is an important sector for the majority of these countries, it is probable that a reduction in the number of tourists led to a decrease in electricity consumption.

The tourism sector has seen a major decline due to countries issuing travel warnings and imposing quarantine measures. This can be seen in the tourism data for June.

In Latvia and Lithuania, the situation remained stable (up to +1%) and the remaining countries (Estonia, Ireland, Malta and Sweden) reported an increase in electricity consumption compared with the lowest June level.

Although Denmark and Bulgaria show increasing electricity consumption from March to May 2020, in June both recorded a reduction in electricity consumption compared with the lowest reference month between 2016 and 2019.

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