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Analysing the Drivers of Electricity Demand in Spain after the Economic Crisis

Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Escuela Internacional de Doctorado, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, 28933 Madrid, Spain
Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Sociales, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Paseo de los Artilleros s/n, Vicálvaro, 28032 Madrid, Spain
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPP-CSIC), 28037 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5336;
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 October 2020 / Published: 13 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Demand and Prices)
Electricity provides a crucial service in our daily lives. However, in electricity systems mostly based on conventional, fossil-fuel fired technologies, an increase in electricity demand also leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions and, in countries without fossil-fuel resources, also increases their dependence on foreign energy sources. In more decarbonised electricity systems, with a high penetration of variable renewable energy sources, strong increases in electricity demand lead to higher system costs, given the need for back-up. Therefore, identifying the drivers of electricity demand is an academically-relevant, but also a policy-relevant exercise, since specific policy measures can be linked to those drivers. The aim of this paper is to assess the drivers of electricity demand in Spain in the period immediately after the economic crisis (2013–2017), with the help of a unique database of Spanish households and econometric modeling. Our results show that electricity demand in this period has mostly been driven by price changes. Demand has been highly price-elastic, with price elasticities being much higher (in absolute values) than in previous studies and periods. It is also negatively driven by the features of the household and its breadwinners (whether they are single-parent households or its members are foreign residents) and positively driven by income, the hours of sun and temperature changes, although the influence of these variables is much lower. In contrast, other variables do not seem to have an influence on demand, including the age of the breadwinners and their working situation (whether they are unemployed or not). These results suggest that price-based instruments, i.e., measures with an impact on electricity prices, would be the most effective to curb electricity demand. View Full-Text
Keywords: electricity demand; Spain; econometric modeling; households electricity demand; Spain; econometric modeling; households
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bueno, J.; Romero-Jordán, D.; del Río, P. Analysing the Drivers of Electricity Demand in Spain after the Economic Crisis. Energies 2020, 13, 5336.

AMA Style

Bueno J, Romero-Jordán D, del Río P. Analysing the Drivers of Electricity Demand in Spain after the Economic Crisis. Energies. 2020; 13(20):5336.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bueno, Javier, Desiderio Romero-Jordán, and Pablo del Río. 2020. "Analysing the Drivers of Electricity Demand in Spain after the Economic Crisis" Energies 13, no. 20: 5336.

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