By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Michael Szwaja
This is the first in a series of short analyses looking at monthly energy data consumptions covering the most important commodities for renewable and non-renewable energy commodities, respectively. The data measure consumption of combustible fuels by gigawatt-hour. The exact list of variables and measurements included for renewable and non-renewable energy may differ from country to country, but they all measure and classify renewable and non-renewable energy. Renewable quantities include but are not limited to heat and power plants, biofuels, electricity, geothermal heat, and solar collectors. Non-renewable quantities include but are not limited to include oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, and fossil fuels. Measurements of energy quantities are given in fuel-specific units, e.g., solid and liquid fuels in thousand tonnes of electricity in Gigawatt-hours. Heat and gases are measured in terajoules (TJ) but are then converted to energy units (Gigawatt-hours). Analyzing energy quantities helps to provide harmonized, and relevant statistical insight needed to evaluate economic policies within the energy sector.
The graph above shows non-renewable energy consumption for Hungary and Poland. Poland's energy consumption index, in blue, spiked from January until March, then experienced a drastic drop through April. This led to a rebound through July, at which point energy consumption leveled off. From the beginning of the year, Poland's index has swung 15 percentage points both ways. Overall, Poland's non-renewable energy consumption has increased by around 4% from 91 to 94. Hungary's non-renewable energy consumption, on the graph in red, gradually increases to April, then slowly declines into June before flattening off again. Hungary's energy consumption index starts out at 24 and ends the period at 20, a 17% decrease.
The graph above shows Poland’s renewable energy consumption saw a downward fluctuation from January to July, then spiked to end the period. Poland’s energy consumption started at 643 and ended at 576, about a 10% decrease. In Hungary (red), renewable energy consumption gradually increased from January to March then hovered until April. From April. Then the energy consumption index gradually rises through August. The movement of energy consumption for Hungary starts out at 115 and ends the period at 159. Hungary’s renewable energy consumption increased by 29% from this entire period.
Both countries appear to express similar trends of increases during the earlier part of the year, then varying drop-offs during spring. However, Poland’s energy consumption rose significantly after April, while Hungary’s index tapered off from April onward. The restrictions and social guidelines implemented for each country’s businesses and industry sectors varied from country to country but may have affected the need for energy during different parts of the year. Numerous businesses and industrial manufacturing closures hit around March and April, which may have related to the decline in energy consumption for both Poland and Hungary.
Poland’s initiatives promoting new forms of renewable energy with support from the EBRD is likely to have an impact on their energy index now and in the future. The pandemic may have caused disruptions in renewable energy for businesses and industrial factories, but the extent of this is not clear from the data. In Hungary’s case, their renewable and non-renewable energy consumption appears to have an inverse relationship from April to August. What the numbers do suggest is that the pandemic could continue to affect energy consumption, particularly around transportation and manufacturing.