Spain activates all its gas plants to cope with heatwave

(Reuters) - Spain had to resort to all available gas plants to cope with growing electricity demand triggered by the scorching temperatures in recent days, industry association Sedigas said on Thursday.

The country, like many others, has been hammered by a heatwave that has pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). As Spaniards turned to air conditioning to tackle high temperatures, electricity demand went up.

On Tuesday, when these plants produced around 30% of the overall electricity, "the system operator had to resort to all available natural gas production units to be able to meet the demand," Sedigas said.

These plants, known as combined cycle power plants, play an important role in particular in the early hours of the night, at around 10 p.m., when demand is still high but the contribution of solar plants is minimal.

Between June 1 and July 19, Natural gas plants produced around 22% of the country's electricity, Sedigas said. Last year, these pants produced almost a fourth of the country's electricity.

El Corte Inglés, one of Spain's largest department store chains, said earlier this week that sales of air conditioning units had jumped, as had interest in cooling pads for pets.

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