Aug 04 2016

High price events: A history

The number of high priced events have been under the spotlight recently with commentary about the impact of renewable generation on prices, including suggestions that renewables have helped dampen high prices in the National Electricity Market since 2010-11. We take a look at the main factors contributing to historic high price events and more recently, the factors that have led to recent high prices in South Australia and Queensland. Figure 1 shows the number of times spot price spikes exceeded $5000/MWh in each region since 2007-08.

Figure 1: Number of high prices events (above $5000/MWh)

Source: NEM-REVIEW

As highlighted in figure 1, the price spikes above $5000/MWh have declined significantly since 2010-11. Queensland saw large price spikes in the summer of 2014-15 and, more recently, South Australia in the last month. The drop in the number of high priced events can be attributed to a decline in demand from 2008-09 and increased surplus generation. Figure 2 highlights the drop in demand since its peak in 2008-09. All high price events since 2007-08 can be found in Appendix 1

Figure 2: NEM demand

Source: NEM-Review

Demand grew fairly consistently until 2008-09. The growing number of air conditioners and increased number of residential households meant that peak demand grew faster than overall demand. The effects of increased energy efficiency, decreased industrial demand and the uptake of residential solar panels resulted in demand decreasing from 207 TWh in 2008-09 to 188 TWh in 2014-15.

Over the same period, while demand was declining, generation capacity continued to grow due to the help of federal and state schemes. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) allows eligible participants a fluctuating price for each MWh of renewable energy which is generated called a Large-scale Generation Certificate (LGC). The average price of LGCs last week was $85.50. State and Territory-based schemes, such as the ACT renewable energy target, offer a different incentive. In the case of the ACT's reverse auction, a guaranteed price for each MWh generated is paid to the winning bidder. Figure 3 shows the impact these schemes have had on South Australia’s electricity supply where much of the investment in renewable energy (and wind in particular) has occurred.

Figure 3: Installed wind capacity in South Australia (project name – commissioned date)

 

Source: Electricity Gas Australia, Australian Energy Council analysis

Price spikes (2007-08 to 2010-11)

Each event over $5,000/MWh is analysed by the Australian Energy Regulator and its assessments can be found here.

Below we take a look at the cause of some high priced events across the NEM. Figure 4 shows each region of the NEM and the years where the number of high priced events peaked.

Figure 4: Highest number of events in a financial year for each region in the NEM

Source: NEM-Review

During the first quarter of 2008, the electricity spot price in South Australia exceeded $5000/MWh on 51 occasions. An initial AER report into the events of January and February 2008 found that the high prices were caused by a combination of high demand, generator bidding and transmission constraints[i].

In the period 2007-2008 to 2009-2010, South Australia had the most of trading intervals exceeding $5,000//MWh. In 2009-2010 the number of high priced events reached 47 for the state.

Victoria and South Australia often coincide with peak electricity use due to similar weather patterns across those two states. In 2009-10, the majority of Victoria’s pricing events occurred at the same time as South Australia’s on 11 January 2010. In Melbourne, the temperature on 11 January reached 42.8 degrees, while South Australia reached 42.8 degrees. The average temperature in Victoria and South Australia for the five days leading up to 11 January was 34.6 degrees and 40.4 degrees respectively. South Australia relies solely on the interconnectors with Victoria for its electricity imports. Any outages, trips or constraints can have major repercussions for prices. Network constraints did occur during this period leading to decreased imports from New South Wales into Victoria and Victoria into South Australia, which ultimately lead to higher prices[ii].

Queensland and South Australia’s recent spikes

The majority of Queensland’s large price spikes in 2014-15 occurred during summer where Queensland sweltered through a heatwave leading some analysts to think a new LNG plant had been switched on[iii]. Instead, we later learnt that Queenslanders were leaving air conditioners on to deal with the extreme heat. During times of high demand, supply and demand are tighter than usual and prices become volatile during times of constraints. December 17 saw seven periods where spot prices were above $5,000/MWh. Temperatures reached 38.5 degrees and demand reached 8,445 MW.

Recent analysis on South Australia’s high prices can be found on the Australian Energy Council website. Interconnector constraints, high gas prices, the decommissioning of Northern, a cold snap and wind availability have all played a role in the recent high priced events in South Australia.

Appendix 1

 

Spot Price $/MWh *

> $5000

 

Settlement Date

NSW

QLD

SA

VIC

TAS

FY 2007-08

22/10/2007 10:00

$       7,858.07

 

 

 

 

 

4/11/2007 12:00

 

$       5,723.07

   

 

 

4/11/2007 12:30

 

$       6,000.52

   

 

 

31/12/2007 13:00

   

$       5,057.04

 

 

 

4/01/2008 15:00

   

$       8,353.99

 

 

 

4/01/2008 15:30

   

$       9,950.37

 

 

 

4/01/2008 16:00

   

$       9,950.32

 

 

 

4/01/2008 16:30

   

$       9,949.94

 

 

 

4/01/2008 17:00

   

$       9,948.25

 

 

 

10/01/2008 14:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 15:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 15:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 16:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 16:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 17:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

10/01/2008 17:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

30/01/2008 16:30

 

$       9,920.99

   

 

 

7/02/2008 16:30

 

$       6,622.24

   

 

 

18/02/2008 13:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 13:30

   

$       9,999.59

 

 

 

18/02/2008 14:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 14:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 15:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 15:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 16:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 16:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 17:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 17:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 18:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

18/02/2008 18:30

   

$       9,991.56

 

 

 

19/02/2008 18:00

   

$       6,087.21

 

 

 

22/02/2008 13:00

 

$       7,169.02

   

 

 

22/02/2008 13:30

 

$       6,347.90

   

 

 

22/02/2008 14:00

 

$       8,811.93

   

 

 

22/02/2008 14:30

 

$       8,743.92

   

 

 

22/02/2008 15:00

 

$       6,421.40

   

 

 

22/02/2008 15:30

 

$       9,561.42

   

 

 

22/02/2008 16:00

 

$       9,494.95

   

 

 

23/02/2008 12:30

 

$       8,177.45

   

 

 

23/02/2008 13:00

 

$       8,471.44

   

 

 

23/02/2008 13:30

 

$       8,811.24

   

 

 

23/02/2008 14:00

 

$       9,153.61

   

 

 

23/02/2008 14:30

 

$       7,065.39

   

 

 

23/02/2008 15:00

 

$       7,065.33

   

 

 

23/02/2008 15:30

 

$       6,000.01

   

 

 

5/03/2008 15:00

   

$       9,252.07

 

 

 

5/03/2008 15:30

   

$       9,949.52

 

 

 

5/03/2008 16:00

   

$       9,975.23

 

 

 

5/03/2008 16:30

   

$       9,967.00

 

 

 

5/03/2008 17:00

   

$       9,950.40

 

 

 

5/03/2008 17:30

   

$       8,299.86

 

 

 

6/03/2008 15:00

   

$       9,717.35

 

 

 

6/03/2008 15:30

   

$       9,950.42

 

 

 

6/03/2008 16:00

   

$       9,950.75

 

 

 

6/03/2008 16:30

   

$       9,950.66

 

 

 

6/03/2008 17:00

   

$       9,950.25

 

 

 

7/03/2008 15:30

   

$       6,979.01

 

 

 

7/03/2008 16:00

   

$       7,004.20

 

 

 

12/03/2008 16:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

12/03/2008 17:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

12/03/2008 17:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

12/03/2008 18:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 14:30

   

$       8,352.48

 

 

 

13/03/2008 15:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 15:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 16:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 16:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 17:00

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

13/03/2008 17:30

   

$       9,999.72

 

 

 

17/03/2008 16:00

   

$       7,570.31

$       7,810.96

 

 

17/03/2008 16:30

   

$       7,894.49

$       7,910.08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 2008-09

23/07/2008 18:30

$       8,454.96

$       8,058.07

$       8,032.50

$       8,766.23

 

 

31/10/2008 12:00

$       6,794.80

     

 

 

31/10/2008 12:30

$       6,861.91

     

 

 

31/10/2008 13:00

$     10,000.00

     

 

 

31/10/2008 13:30

$     10,000.00

     

 

 

31/10/2008 14:30

$       6,787.37

     

 

 

31/10/2008 15:00

$     10,000.00

     

 

 

31/10/2008 15:30

$       5,408.77

     

 

 

20/11/2008 14:30

 

$       5,061.39

   

 

 

13/01/2009 14:00

   

$       7,783.73

 

 

 

13/01/2009 14:30

   

$       9,799.47

 

 

 

13/01/2009 15:00

   

$       9,399.92

 

 

 

13/01/2009 15:30

   

$       9,998.93

 

 

 

13/01/2009 16:00

   

$       8,550.72

 

 

 

13/01/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.09

 

 

 

13/01/2009 17:00

   

$       9,799.35

 

 

 

13/01/2009 17:30

   

$       9,000.47

 

 

 

15/01/2009 14:00

$       5,210.57

     

 

 

19/01/2009 12:30

   

$       5,050.38

 

 

 

19/01/2009 14:00

   

$       9,999.68

 

 

 

19/01/2009 14:30

   

$       8,499.68

 

 

 

19/01/2009 15:00

   

$       8,750.12

 

 

 

19/01/2009 15:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

19/01/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

28/01/2009 15:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

28/01/2009 15:30

   

$       9,999.77

$       6,035.89

 

 

28/01/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

28/01/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

28/01/2009 17:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

29/01/2009 8:30

   

$       8,266.44

$       9,511.49

 

 

29/01/2009 9:00

   

$       9,398.05

$     10,000.00

 

 

29/01/2009 12:00

   

$       5,042.02

$       5,098.65

 

 

29/01/2009 12:30

   

$       5,594.24

$       5,885.40

 

 

29/01/2009 13:00

     

$       9,897.98

 

 

29/01/2009 13:30

     

$       9,584.80

 

 

29/01/2009 14:00

   

$       9,999.92

$       9,357.65

 

 

29/01/2009 14:30

   

$       9,470.63

$       9,500.84

 

 

29/01/2009 15:00

   

$       9,733.23

$     10,000.00

 

 

29/01/2009 15:30

     

$       8,383.34

 

 

29/01/2009 16:00

     

$       6,872.23

 

 

29/01/2009 19:00

       

$       6,778.32

 

30/01/2009 10:00

       

$       5,442.84

 

30/01/2009 11:00

       

$       6,880.22

 

31/03/2009 17:00

   

$       5,022.35

 

 

 

1/06/2009 10:00

       

$       9,159.39

 

10/06/2009 9:30

       

$       6,211.93

 

11/06/2009 9:30

       

$       7,576.61

 

12/06/2009 9:30

       

$       9,992.30

 

15/06/2009 17:00

       

$       8,373.59

 

15/06/2009 18:00

       

$       9,992.25

 

16/06/2009 8:30

       

$       6,874.97

 

16/06/2009 9:30

       

$       9,992.29

 

16/06/2009 10:30

       

$       5,103.78

 

16/06/2009 17:00

       

$       9,992.20

 

19/06/2009 8:30

       

$       9,992.30

 

19/06/2009 9:30

       

$       9,160.30

 

19/06/2009 10:30

       

$       5,000.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 2009-10

2/11/2009 14:00

 

 

$       9,999.74

 

 

 

3/11/2009 16:00

$       6,337.10

$       5,706.28

   

 

 

10/11/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

10/11/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

10/11/2009 17:00

   

$       9,999.69

 

 

 

11/11/2009 15:30

   

$       5,062.11

 

 

 

11/11/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

11/11/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

11/11/2009 17:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

11/11/2009 17:30

   

$       9,999.71

 

 

 

12/11/2009 15:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

12/11/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

12/11/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

12/11/2009 17:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

13/11/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

13/11/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

19/11/2009 14:30

   

$       6,777.81

 

 

 

19/11/2009 15:00

   

$       8,396.44

 

 

 

19/11/2009 15:30

   

$       9,999.65

 

 

 

19/11/2009 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

19/11/2009 16:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

19/11/2009 17:00

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

19/11/2009 17:30

   

$       9,998.40

 

 

 

19/11/2009 18:00

   

$       6,999.21

 

 

 

20/11/2009 10:00

$       6,696.65

     

 

 

20/11/2009 11:00

$       8,664.47

     

 

 

20/11/2009 11:30

$       6,728.98

     

 

 

20/11/2009 12:30

$       7,051.49

$       5,927.79

   

 

 

20/11/2009 13:00

$       9,283.95

$       8,388.30

   

 

 

20/11/2009 13:30

$       6,204.34

$       5,563.64

   

 

 

20/11/2009 15:30

$       5,152.13

     

 

 

27/11/2009 15:30

$       8,932.89

$       7,527.19

   

 

 

27/11/2009 16:00

$       5,461.60

     

 

 

7/12/2009 12:00

$       7,714.89

     

 

 

7/12/2009 13:00

$       5,023.77

     

 

 

7/12/2009 14:00

$       9,059.53

     

 

 

7/12/2009 14:30

$       9,175.60

     

 

 

7/12/2009 15:00

$       9,134.05

     

 

 

7/12/2009 15:30

$       6,308.41

     

 

 

17/12/2009 11:00

$       5,546.80

     

 

 

17/12/2009 15:00

$       8,703.08

     

 

 

17/12/2009 16:00

$       5,467.81

     

 

 

8/01/2010 15:30

   

$       9,999.71

 

 

 

8/01/2010 16:00

   

$       9,999.71

 

 

 

8/01/2010 16:30

   

$       9,999.71

 

 

 

11/01/2010 13:30

   

$       5,551.71

 

 

 

11/01/2010 14:00

   

$       8,524.97

 

 

 

11/01/2010 14:30

   

$       7,618.06

$       6,839.82

$             36.34

 

11/01/2010 15:00

   

$       9,100.77

$       9,195.56

$             36.34

 

11/01/2010 15:30

   

$       9,100.77

$       9,194.09

 

 

11/01/2010 16:00

   

$       9,115.57

$       9,200.50

 

 

11/01/2010 16:30

   

$       9,100.77

$       8,853.89

 

 

11/01/2010 17:30

   

$       6,099.82

$       5,943.46

 

 

18/01/2010 14:30

 

$       9,207.97

   

 

 

18/01/2010 15:00

 

$       9,124.70

   

 

 

18/01/2010 15:30

 

$       6,716.67

   

 

 

18/01/2010 16:00

 

$       5,429.84

   

 

 

4/02/2010 12:00

$       5,540.90

     

 

 

8/02/2010 16:00

   

$       8,430.79

$       6,481.89

 

 

8/02/2010 16:30

   

$       6,719.05

$       6,368.41

 

 

9/02/2010 13:30

   

$       6,833.20

 

 

 

9/02/2010 14:00

   

$       9,999.76

 

 

 

9/02/2010 14:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

9/02/2010 15:00

   

$       8,430.74

 

 

 

9/02/2010 15:30

   

$       9,999.77

 

 

 

9/02/2010 16:00

   

$       9,999.77

$       6,246.55

 

 

9/02/2010 16:30

   

$       9,999.92

$       7,847.30

 

 

9/02/2010 17:00

   

$       9,705.76

 

 

 

9/02/2010 17:30

   

$       8,764.23

 

 

 

10/02/2010 14:30

   

$       8,823.77

 

 

 

10/02/2010 15:00

   

$       6,786.97

 

 

 

22/02/2010 16:00

$       8,345.79

     

 

 

22/04/2010 12:30

     

$       5,022.42

 

 

22/04/2010 13:00

     

$       9,997.78

 

 

22/04/2010 13:30

     

$       5,003.82

 

 

22/04/2010 14:30

     

$       8,382.58

 

 

22/04/2010 15:00

     

$       9,998.59

 

 

22/04/2010 15:30

     

$       9,997.70

 

 

22/04/2010 16:00

     

$       9,998.23

 

 

22/05/2010 18:30

       

$       6,750.00

FY 2010-11

7/08/2010 9:00

 

 

 

 

$       5,720.21

 

7/08/2010 18:30

       

$     12,400.26

 

8/08/2010 18:00

       

$     12,400.08

 

8/08/2010 18:30

       

$     12,400.08

 

8/08/2010 19:30

       

$       8,300.09

 

10/08/2010 8:30

$       6,266.50

     

 

 

10/08/2010 9:00

$       5,755.45

     

 

 

19/11/2010 7:00

       

$     12,400.00

 

31/01/2011 14:00

   

$     12,099.23

 

 

 

31/01/2011 14:30

   

$     11,999.38

 

 

 

31/01/2011 15:00

   

$     12,199.53

 

 

 

31/01/2011 15:30

   

$     12,198.70

$       9,596.53

 

 

31/01/2011 16:00

$       6,019.97

 

$     12,132.53

 

 

 

31/01/2011 16:30

   

$     12,182.70

 

 

 

31/01/2011 17:00

   

$     12,066.03

 

 

 

31/01/2011 17:30

   

$     12,081.95

 

 

 

31/01/2011 18:00

   

$       9,020.63

 

 

 

1/02/2011 13:30

$       5,039.89

   

$       5,332.68

 

 

1/02/2011 14:00

     

$       5,077.61

 

 

1/02/2011 15:00

$       7,079.65

     

 

 

1/02/2011 15:30

$     12,072.50

$       6,109.80

   

 

 

1/02/2011 16:00

$     12,136.17

$       7,349.99

   

 

 

1/02/2011 16:30

$       9,544.52

$       5,831.57

   

 

 

2/02/2011 14:00

$       5,581.95

     

 

 

2/02/2011 14:30

$       5,831.21

$       5,198.13

   

 

 

2/02/2011 15:00

$       9,173.00

$       8,218.62

   

 

 

2/02/2011 15:30

$     10,417.07

$       8,088.42

   

 

 

2/02/2011 16:00

$     10,243.51

$       9,043.67

   

 

 

2/02/2011 16:30

$       8,773.39

$       8,088.38

   

 

FY 2011-12

9/11/2011 15:30

$       6,497.76

 

 

 

 

FY 2012-13

29/11/2012 16:00

 

 

 

$       8,955.53

 

 

29/11/2012 16:30

     

$       9,974.42

 

 

29/11/2012 17:00

     

$       8,218.90

 

 

29/01/2013 17:00

 

$       6,298.63

$             45.79

$             44.51

 

FY 2013-14

19/12/2013 16:00

 

 

$     10,627.00

 

 

 

19/12/2013 16:30

   

$       5,639.52

 

 

 

20/12/2013 13:30

$       7,696.44

     

 

 

15/01/2014 16:00

   

$       6,213.38

$       5,972.27

 

FY 2014-15

17/12/2014 14:00

 

$       6,736.60

 

 

 

 

17/12/2014 14:30

 

$       8,979.62

   

 

 

17/12/2014 15:30

 

$     10,060.33

   

 

 

17/12/2014 16:00

 

$       8,992.75

   

 

 

17/12/2014 16:30

 

$     13,499.00

   

 

 

17/12/2014 17:00

 

$     13,499.00

   

 

 

17/12/2014 17:30

 

$       8,989.31

   

 

 

15/01/2015 17:00

 

$     12,950.00

   

 

 

15/01/2015 18:00

 

$       6,493.30

   

 

 

15/01/2015 19:00

 

$       5,075.99

   

 

 

18/01/2015 17:00

 

$       6,625.75

   

 

 

5/03/2015 16:30

 

$     12,957.50

   

 

 

5/03/2015 17:00

 

$       9,382.83

   

 

 

5/03/2015 17:30

 

$     13,166.27

   

 

 

5/03/2015 18:00

 

$       8,673.29

   

 

 

5/03/2015 19:00

 

$     11,024.50

   

 

FY 2015-16

23/09/2015 18:30

$     13,419.89

 

 

 

 

 

23/09/2015 19:00

$       6,717.38

     

 

 

13/01/2016 15:30

     

$       9,137.03

 

 

13/01/2016 16:00

   

$       5,173.04

$       7,477.35

 

 

14/01/2016 14:00

$       5,022.74

$           309.27

$             19.57

$             20.32

$             95.29

FY 2016-17

7/07/2016 19:30

 

 

$       8,897.80

 

 

 

13/07/2016 6:30

   

$       7,068.49

 

 

 

14/07/2016 18:30

 

 

$       6,917.55

 

 

 


[i] State of the Energy Market 2008, AER, page 89

[ii] AER, “Electricity spot prices above $5000/MWh 11 January 2010 South Australia and Victoria”, https://www.aer.gov.au/system/files/5000Report_11%20January%202010%20-%20SA%20and%20VIC.pdf

[iii] Wattclarity, “Mysterious jump in Queensland demand”, http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2015/01/mysterious-jump-in-queensland-demand/

Related Analysis

Analysis

Texan energy crisis: Lessons for Australian electricity markets

In February Texas endured a winter storm that dragged temperatures well below freezing. Electricity generation plant and gas infrastructure proved unprepared for these temperatures and around a third of the state’s effective capacity went offline for some or all of this period, just as demand was spiking to a new winter record.

Apr 22 2021
Analysis

FMG chases green dream

Disruption is one of the cornerstones of the success of Fortescue Metals Group. FMG’s ability to get things done in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers can be illustrated no more vividly than when BHP and Rio Tinto sought to prevent the then start up iron ore miner from accessing its rail lines in the Pilbara. FMG built its own and outdid its rivals by extending those lines to Perth. Now FMG wants to apply the same zeal to energy and green steel.

Mar 04 2021
Analysis

The best little blackout in Texas

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. The major power outages from which it is just emerging, were triggered by a polar vortex and impacted around 4.5 million customers. There's been plenty of finger pointing with intermittent renewables being blamed, questions raised about Texas’s go-it-alone attitude and claims of poor preparations stemming from a deregulated energy market.

Feb 25 2021
GET IN TOUCH
Do you have a question or comment for AEC?

Send an email with your question or comment, and include your name and a short message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Call Us
+61 (3) 9205 3100