By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Michael Szwaja
This is the second 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 above graph shows non-renewable energy consumption for Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Czech. It is important to note that Romania does not have a Non-Renewable energy consumption index.
In red, Poland's energy consumption index spiked from January until March, then experienced a drastic drop through April. That led into a rebound through July, at which point energy consumption dropped again. From the beginning of the year, Poland's index has swung 15 percentage points both ways. Year to date, Poland's non-renewable energy consumption has decreased by around 6.5% from 90 to 84.
Slovakia's non-renewable energy consumption index, shown in purple, dropped in March and hovered around 36-38 until June. It fluctuated more in recent months, with a spike in July, a drop in August, then another spike the following month. Slovakia's index started at 44 and sits at 39 as of the end of September. Though not the most volatile of the indices, Slovakia’s 11% decrease in non-renewable energy consumption is a substantial year to date drop.
On the graph in green, Hungary's non-renewable energy consumption gradually increased to April, then slowly declined into June before flattening off again. Hungary's energy consumption index started at 24 and ended the period at 18, prompting a significant 25% decrease.
Lastly, Czech, which is shown in blue, saw modest volatility compared to the other indexes. It gradually decreases in the spring, following by a small increase during the summer, and ends the term in September with a drop-off. Czech's non-renewable energy consumption start conveys an approximate 33% decrease, with its index starting at around 7.5 and ending at 5.
Poland’s renewable energy consumption, in red, showed considerable fluctuations during the year so far. Its index dropped from January to July, spiked in August, and then tapered off to end the period. Poland’s energy consumption started at 643 and ended at 561, about a 13% decrease.
For Czech, shown in blue, it shows modest fluctuations during the year. Renewable energy consumption dropped in February, rose in March, and was fairly steady afterwards. From April to July, Czech’s index conveyed a downward trend leading by a small increase to end the term. The index started at 415 and ended at 398, indicating a 4% drop for renewable energy.
For Hungary, in green, the renewable energy consumption index had a gradual increasing trajectory from January to May and then hovered around 155-159 in the months since. Its most significant change in the index was April-May, with a 22-percentage point increase from 125 to 147. The energy consumption index for Hungary started out at 115 and ended the most recent month at 159. Hungary’s renewable energy consumption increased by 36.5% from this entire period, substantially more than the other countries.
For Slovakia, in purple, the index showed a downward trend for most of the term until August, when it jumped by 13 percentage points from 52 to 65. The index expressed a net increase of around 8% from 60 to 65 year to date.
Lastly, Romania, shown in yellow, does report their energy consumption for renewable energy. It experienced a downwards trend for the entire year so far. Starting at 33 and ending at 14, the index fell approximately 57.5%.
Year to date, all the CEE Countries have shown fairly large movement in their energy consumption indexes. Poland has the highest level and most movement for its index, though others have changed more on a percentage basis. Slovakia, Hungary, and Czech are closer together for non-renewable energy. All countries experience significant and varying spikes and declines for non-renewable energy consumption in the early and later parts of the year. Altogether, the countries had a net decrease in non-renewable energy consumption, which may have been influenced by the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, their renewable energy initiatives may be working as well. The restrictions and social guidelines implemented for each country’s businesses and industry sectors varied from country to country. Still, they 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 coincided with the decline in energy consumption for all the countries.
Poland’s initiatives promoting new forms of renewable energy with support from the EBRD are likely to impact 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 appeared to have an inverse relationship from April to August. Slovakia saw both non-renewable and renewable energy consumption fall around the same time which translates to lower energy consumption overall. Both of Slovakia’s non-renewable and renewable energy consumption increased in the most recent month. As Romania only has renewable energy consumption data, there is no appropriate comparison to non-renewable energy consumption. However, their most recent renewable energy index is lower compared to the beginning of the year. This may infer a decrease of their re-renewable energy consumption due to relying on it less. The pandemic may have an influence on the net usage as well.