Colombian electricity use rose sharply in July, driven by deregulated market consumers, new figures show.
Overall demand jumped 4.4% year-on-year to 5.918TWh, according to a report published by power market operator XM.
The captive market – comprising households and small businesses – saw consumption climb 3.36% while deregulated industrial and commercial users reported a 6.44% increase.
The free market accounted for 31.4% of total demand.
Manufacturers posted the strongest growth (42.8%) followed by mining (24.6%) and services (8.3%).
The Atlantic coast was the region where demand grew most (7.7%), ahead of Guaviare (5.0%) and Centro (3.4%).
Meanwhile, July electricity generation reached 5.91TWh, up from 5.65TWh a year earlier.
Output from thermal plants jumped 205GWh year-on-year to 681GWh while alternative sources – including solar, wind and biomass plants – delivered 490GWh, some 116GWh more than July 2017. Hydropower generation dipped 72.13GWh to 4.66TWh.
Hydroelectric dams were at 81.2% of their useful capacity during the month, up from 80.2% in July 2017.
Oriente was the region with the highest mean dam levels (98.8%) followed by Antioquia (88.0%), Caribe (84.6%) and Valle (81.4%).