Power Demand Slows in Europe as Virus Lockdowns Kick In

Electricity demand is starting to drop across Europe as factories and businesses send staff home to avoid the coronavirus.

Grid operators and utilities say demand is dropping both because of social distancing measures forcing offices to shut and from the closure of industrial sites that are some of the biggest energy users.

Automakers from Volkswagen AG to Renault SA are idling plants across the continent. ArcelorMittal, the biggest steel producer outside China, is cutting production at its key plants in the region. Network companies say they can balance the grid and ensure supplies will continue through the crisis.

“Unusually low levels of demand for electricity are typically less problematic than unusually high levels, but can emphasise the impact of renewable peaks,” said Rob Lalor, senior analyst at Enappsys Ltd.

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