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COVID-19 impact on European demand – update and outlook

Eylert Ellefsen
Archived blog post. This blog post has been transferred from our previous blogging platform. Links and images may not work as intended.

On 25 April (week 17), EQ published a blog post showing the impact the Corona-virus was having on the consumption for 16 countries across western Europe. As the holiday season has mostly come to an end, we have now reviewed our demand outlook for the rest of the year.

Key takeaways:

  • Consumption has recovered a bit faster from week 17 than expected in our "base case".
  • The recovery as an average for western Europe will be slightly slower than the Base profile until the end of the year.

COVID-19 recovery

By week 13/14, consumption reduction was about 32.000 MW compared to a normal situation (11% reduction).

During April the consumption started to recover, and EQ published two subsequent blog-updates on the recovery-process (25 April and 3 June). EQ estimated on 25 April that the consumption reduction would be about 3% by the end of 2020 and that we wouldn't reach normal levels until the 2nd half of 2021.

In the April blog, we also established 3 scenarios for the consumption recovery across Western Europe – the so-called Fast, Slow and Base scenarios.

As the holiday season has mostly come to an end as of week 36, we have now reviewed our demand outlook for the rest of the year.

Recovery scenarios: Fase, Base and Base. The black line show the actual recovery, while the blue line show EQ's estimate for the remainder of the year.

We see from the chart that from week 17 consumption recovered faster than expected in our "base case"; the demand profile was flattening during June.

Nevertheless, the consumption recovery since the start of April has been rather close to our Base scenario from April, but we believe that the recovery as an average for Western Europe will be slightly slower than the Base profile until the end of the year.

EQ has grouped the 16 countries in Western Europe into 3 categories as national Corona-measures have differed:

The consumption recovery, where Europe is divided into three categories of countries: The Nordic (grey), France/Italy/Spain (blue) and other countries in Western Europe (yellow dashed).

We have updated the forecasts for the demand reduction for 2020, and the reduction level by the end of 2020 for these individual categories:

These numbers are quite close to the numbers we published in the blog on 3 June. We have not made specific estimates for each country, but we have made estimates per category (ref. table).

Final words

EQ will follow the situation closely this autumn as the infection rate across Europe is again increasing following the holiday season, and as stricter Corona-measures might again be introduced in several countries during the autumn.

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