BSC Insight: Update on Demand Reduction during COVID-19 lockdown
In this BSC Insight, Hussein Osman uses the latest data from BMRS and our internal databases to compare the changes in demand following Government advice that people stay at home with the demand patterns from similar periods in previous years. The graphs provide Initial Demand Out-turn data up to 17 May and Grid Supply Point Group Take (GSPGT) data up to 30 April. Our latest data shows that:
- There was an 8% (0.8TWh) increase in net monthly GSPGT in 2021 compared to 2020,
- There was a 21.07% increase in net monthly GSPGT in April 2021, in comparison to April 2020,
- The daily average INDO in February and March 2021 was the lowest seen in the past 5 years (31740MW and 29456MW).
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Initial Demand Out-Turn
The Initial National Demand Out-Turn (INDO) is published by Elexon on the Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service (BMRS) every half hour and shows average demand in megawatts across GB for each Settlement Period. The INDO value excludes station transformer load, pumped storage demand and interconnector demand.
The graph below shows the INDO between January 2017 and May 2021. You can adjust the date range shown in this graph by using the Settlement Date slider underneath the graph.
INDO and COVID-19
The graph shows that as COVID-19 restrictions continued into 2021, the daily average INDO in February and March was the lowest seen in the past 5 years (31740MW and 29456MW respectively). In comparison to February and March 2018 (35793MW and 34618MW), the daily average INDO dropped by 11% and 15% respectively. The daily average INDO in February and March remains similar to that seen in 2020, albeit slightly lower.
In the most recent and current national lockdown which began on 05 January 2021, the lowest daily average INDO occurred on 04 April 2021 (22349MW). In comparison to the first national lockdown between March and June 2020, the lowest daily average INDO occurred on 23 May 2020 (18056MW). This was the second lowest daily average INDO figure recorded that year, the lowest daily average INDO occurred on 28 June 2020 (17560MW).
As in 2020, the average daily INDO in 2021 has not reached the peaks as seen in the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is likely the result of the majority of GB households and businesses being in lockdown.
Grid Supply Point Group Take
Grid Supply Point Group Take (GSPGT) is the net energy measured coming from or going into a particular Local Distribution System (i.e. a GSP Group) in a Settlement Period.
The graph above compares the net GSP Group Take (sum of positive and negative GSP Group Take) to the previous four years for 1 January to 30 April. You can use the filters as a self-analysis tool to make comparisons between the GSPGT total to previous years and months in each region.
Decreases in GSPGT
In February 2021, the lowest net GSPGT figure was recorded in comparison to the previous five years (19.7TWh). In comparison to previous years in February (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020), the GSPGT dropped by 11%, 13%, 5% and 3% respectively. There was a 21.07% increase in net monthly GSPGT in April 2021, in comparison to April 2020. The largest increase was in the Eastern region (GSP Group _A) were GSPGT rose by 0.49TWh (27.22 %). This increase can be attributed to lockdown measures in April 2021 easing whilst full lockdown measures were in place in April 2020.
Although daily average GSPGT across the day has not reached the average levels seen in 2019, it has slightly recovered in comparison to 2020. There was an 8% (0.8TWh) increase in net monthly GSPGT in 2021 compared to 2020. The only region where both Net GSPGT and daily Average GSPGT across the day decreased in comparison to 2020 was in the London region (GSP Group _C). This drop in the London region can be attributed to the decline in industrial demand due to COVID-19 restrictions. In 2021, the daily Average GSPGT across the day on the weekend mirrors the figures seen in 2019.
Although demand has not recovered to pre-COVID-19 figures, there has been a slight recovery. In comparison to the first four months in 2020, there was an increase in both Grid Supply Point Group Take (GSPGT) and INDO (Initial Demand Out-Turn). As lockdown measures continue to ease, we expect demand to also increase, especially in regions such as the London region (GSP Group _C).