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Spain daily gas demand for power hits new record

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A road lamp post is seen next to high-voltage power lines and electricity pylons at dusk in the outskirts of Madrid
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(Reuters) - Natural gas demand for electricity generation in Spain hit a new record on Wednesday as a heatwave gripped the country, transmission system operator Enagas said on Thursday.

Gas-fired power plants in Spain took delivery of 803.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) on Wednesday, surpassing the previous records of 770 GWh and 764 GWh reached on June 16 and 15 respectively.

The current high temperatures in Spain have led to an increase in electricity consumption, and low hydraulic, wind and photovoltaic and solar thermal generation, due to a dusty haze, as well as an increase in electricity exports, Enagas said in a statement.

Spain is undergoing its second heatwave this year and the meteorological agency AEMET expects temperatures to peak later on Thursday, likely exceeding 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in large parts of southern Spain.

In a bid to reduce the impact of high gas prices on electricity bills, Spain and Portugal have started temporarily subsidizing fossil fuel plants' generation costs, while aiming to build more renewable capacity in the long term.

European governments are struggling to manage surging energy costs, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine raises the spectre of supply disruptions in a market already stretched to meet strong post-COVID 19 demand.

(Reporting by Joao Manuel Mauricio in Gdansk; Editing by Alison Williams)

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