March 4, 2019 - Spanish coal consumption dropped 35% in February, continuing a decline that saw an 18% drop for the full year 2018, according to data published Saturday by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE).
Output from Spanish coal-fired plants was 2.2 TWh in the month and totaled 5.3 TWh in the first two months of the year, a decline of 18% year on year.
The fuel was pushed to the sidelines of the generating mix in February by a combination of hydro, nuclear and gas-fired generation, according to REE.
A return to normal hydro levels in 2018 was the main reason behind the slump in demand in 2018.
The decline in coal demand meant coal imports in the full year were down 18% from 2017 at 15.77 million mt, with falling volumes principally from Colombia, South Africa and Russia, according to Spanish customs data released last week.
Indonesia was Spain's largest single supplier in 2018, with a total of 4.49 million mt delivered, up 5.5% from 2017, followed by Russia, down 27% year on year at 3.64 million mt.
There were also declines of Colombian shipments, down 25% at 3.42 million mt in 2017, while volumes from Australia rose 31% to 1.33 million mt, the data showed.
The Spanish government last month delivered a 2030 strategy plan to the European Commission outlining plans for a complete coal plant closure by 2030.
The plan sees installed capacity falling from 10.5 GW in 2020 to 4.5 GW by 2025 and then to between zero and 1.3 GW in 2030.