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Gradual Recovery of Energy Supply and Consumption in Q2 2020
Date: 2020-10-05
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Energy supply and consumption decreased by 6.1% and 0.5% respectively on a year-on-year basis (YoY) in Q2 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have gradually returned to the levels of the previous year since May. (see figure 1 and figure 2)

The impact of COVID-19 caused a greater decline in energy supply than in energy consumption. This was mainly due to the sharp reduction in international demand for petroleum products, which led to a decrease in exports; therefore, the imports of crude oil and petroleum products by refineries decreased by 18.0%. Energy consumption also decreased due to the pandemic. Among sectors, the energy sector own use and service sector had the largest decreases at 6.8% and 5.3% respectively. The industrial sector decreased only slightly by 0.1% because the electronics industry experienced growth despite the circumstances. The residential sector increased by 4.1%, which was the result of people staying home more and dining out less during the period of pandemic prevention. The transportation sector slightly increased by 1.8% due to the collapse of oil prices in April and the recovery of domestic tourism since May. Analyzing energy consumption by energy form, coal and coal products and electricity decreased by 2.1% and 1.2% respectively, petroleum products decreased slightly by 0.1%, and natural gas increased by 3.2%.

1. Energy supply decreased by 6.1% (YoY) in Q2 2020. (see figure 3 and table 1)
(1) Crude oil and petroleum products (accounting for 42.8%) decreased by 18.0%. A 38.0% decrease in petroleum product exports reduced the amount of oil refining by 22.7%, resulting in a 20.6% reduction in crude oil imports.
(2) Renewable Energy (accounting for 1.9%, about 96% came from electricity generation) decreased by 10.7%. Conventional hydroelectricity dropped significantly by 56.1% due to decreased precipitation, while solar PV and wind power increased by 59.4% and 65.4% respectively.
(3) Natural Gas (accounting for 16.7%, approximately 79% were used for electricity generation) increased by 16.5%. LNG-fired generation increased by 12.9%, which led to an increase in natural gas supply.
(4) Coal and Coal Products (accounting for 32.6%, approximately 86% were used for electricity generation) increased by 2.7%. Although domestic demand continues to decline, the shrinking global coal market has shortened the time required for international shipping and loading, resulting in early arrivals of some of the ships. Moreover, to cope with typhoons that usually occur in summer, related companies often stock up in advance in Q2 every year, causing the imports of coal and coal products to increase significantly by 29.7% compared to the previous quarter.

2. Total domestic energy consumption decreased by 0.5% (YoY) in Q2 2020.
(1) Analyzed by sectors, the consumptions of energy sector own use, service, and industrial sectors all decreased, while the consumptions of residential and transportation sectors increased. (see figure 4 and table 2)
a. Energy sector own use (accounting for 8.4%) decreased by 6.8% mainly due to the decrease in the amount of oil refining.
b. Service sector (accounting for 6.6%) decreased by 5.3%. The wholesale and retail industry was hit the hardest by the epidemic, with a decrease of 11.2%. The rest of the industries also showed declining trends but have gradually recovered since May; the increases in the storage and warehousing, communication, and public administration industries offset some of the decrease.
c. Industrial sector (including non-energy use for petrochemical feedstocks) (accounting for 60.1%) decreased by 0.1%, mainly due to the decline in traditional industries that were severely impacted by the epidemic. The textile, apparel, and accessories industry decreased the most by 31.5%, the transport equipment industry also decreased significantly by 21.9%, and the chemical materials industry and the iron and steel industry decreased by 3.7% and 3.9% respectively; but compared to Q1, the declines have gradually slowed down. On the other hand, the electronics industry, which benefited from the business opportunities of remote working and the rising demands for semiconductors, information and telecommunications, and 5G applications, experienced a 5.8% increase in energy consumption, offsetting some of the decrease.
d. Residential sector (accounting for 7.6%) increased by 4.1%, mainly due to people spending more time at home and dining out less during the pandemic. Moreover, higher average temperatures in May and June this year led to a general increase in energy consumption.
e. Transportation sector (accounting for 16.2%) increased by 1.8% due to the collapse of oil prices in April and the recovery of domestic tourism since May, leading to a 4.6% increase in consumption of motor gasoline for road transportation.
(2) Analyzed by energy forms, electricity, coal and coal products, and petroleum products decreased, while natural gas increased. (see table 3)
a. coal and coal products decreased by 2.1% mainly because traditional industries were severely impacted by the epidemic, causing coal consumption in the textile, apparel and accessories industry to decrease by 42.1%, and the chemical materials industry and the iron and steel industry to also decrease by 3.3% and 0.4% respectively.
b. Electricity consumption decreased by 1.2% mainly due to the 5.8% decrease in the service sector, which was affected by the epidemic; however, it has gradually recovered since May. Industrial electricity uses slightly decreased by 0.8%, because the decrease in electricity consumption of traditional industries exceeded that of the electronics industry; but the decline stopped and the consumption of traditional industries rebounded in June. Residential electricity uses increased by 3.5%, offsetting some of the decrease.
c. Petroleum products decreased by 0.1%, mainly due to the reduction in the amount of oil refining, resulting in a 16.0% decrease in refinery gas for energy sector use; oil for industrial use also had a 19.8% decrease. Oil for transportation use and LPG for residential use increased by 1.8% and 10.9% respectively, thus offsetting some of the decrease.
d. Natural gas increased by 3.2%. Refineries often used refinery gas retrieved from the refining process as fuel; however, as the output of refinery gas decreased with the decline of oil refining, it was replaced by natural gas, and therefore, natural gas consumed by refineries increased by 57.6%. Also, gas for residential use increased by 10.5% due to people dining out less during the pandemic. Gas for industrial and service uses decreased by 2.6% and 9.3% respectively as the economy slowed down, lowering the total increase.

3. The proportion of LNG-fired electricity generation increased (YoY) in Q2 2020, while other energy sources decreased. (see figure 5)
In Q2 2020, the proportion of LNG-fired electricity generation increased by 3.8%, and the proportion of coal-fired electricity decreased by 1.9%. Although the proportion of renewable energy decreased by 0.7% with less conventional hydroelectricity limited by the weather, solar PV and wind power increased significantly by 59.4% and 65.4% respectively (with installed capacity increasing 34.9% and 20.1% respectively), indicating that the overall development continued to move towards the government's energy transition goals.

Although energy supply and consumption in Q2 2020 remained affected by COVID-19 and decreased, the impact gradually lessened as the domestic situation came under control. However, the global pandemic has worsened recently, and the U.S.-China trade dispute remained unresolved, our domestic economic and industrial situations are still facing great uncertainties. Therefore, the changes in energy supply and demand trends require our continued monitoring. All the above-mentioned data are disclosed in the "Energy Statistics Monthly (Jun. 2020) ", and the link is provided below.

Spokesperson for Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs: Deputy Director-General, Chun-Li Lee
Phone Number: 02-2775-7700
Mobile: 0936-250-838
Email: chunlee@moea.gov.tw

Business Contact: Director, Ming-Chih Chuang
Phone number: 02-2775-7710
Mobile: 0936-889-606
Email: mcchuang@moea.gov.tw

Media Contact: Section Chief, Yu-Hsuah Hsia
Phone Number: 02-2775-7705
Mobile: 0910-668-295
E-mail: yhhsia@moea.gov.tw
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