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Is minimum demand causing a major headache?

Is minimum demand causing a major headache?

AEMO’s Wholesale Electricity Market ESOO offers insight into the future of the WEM and its potential challenges. It presents a confident picture of generation meeting demand over the forecast period, while on the flipside it singles out the massive uptake of rooftop solar PV for causing a significant near-term issue.

BY Graham Pearson Jun 24 2021
Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

Gas and hydro: Back-up in action

The first quarter of 2021 for the NEM's spot market was notable for its lack of notability. But in a measure of the how the NEM can turn, the Q2 Queensland average price to date is $135.83/MWh, versus $42.64/MWh over Q1. We look at how the market almost always successfully responds to the NEM’s variations, and its reliance on hydro and gas-fired generation to keep the lights on.

BY Ben Skinner & Carol Tran Jun 17 2021
Queensland blackout: Should we let the market run?

Queensland blackout: Should we let the market run?

Following a fire at Callide C Power station on Tuesday 25 May, a series of events resulted in multiple generators disconnecting and 2,300MW of demand being interrupted. This was the most severe event in the NEM since SA's black system of 2016. Like all serious power system incidents, there was a complex chain of issues that will take some time to unpick.

BY Ben Skinner May 27 2021
South Australia: Famine one day, feast the next (but one)

South Australia: Famine one day, feast the next (but one)

South Australia could borrow a slogan from another state based on recent vagaries and challenges thrown up by its energy grid. One day it experienced spot prices exceeding $5000/MWh six times between 6pm and midnight and two days later it was reporting near-record minimum demand, which required the step of curtailing rooftop solar to ensure grid stability.

BY Carl Kitchen May 20 2021
Will network operator batteries hurt competition?

Will network operator batteries hurt competition?

Australia is grappling with the rapid change in how and when electricity is generated and consumed. In Western Australia, recent changes to the Electricity Networks Access Code allow expansion of the role of the network operator. Oakley Greenwood has considered what the amendments mean for competition in the Wholesale Electricity Market.

BY Graham Pearson May 13 2021
How do we deal with emerging excess supply?

How do we deal with emerging excess supply?

The economics of traditional plants are well understood, but since their construction, the way they need to operate has changed substantially. This has been driven by a combination of the age of the plants as well as the large influx of renewables, which is changing the supply and demand patterns of the grid.

BY Carl Kitchen Mar 18 2021
Capacity markets: The answer to extreme weather?

Capacity markets: The answer to extreme weather?

The fallout from the Texas blackouts has continued with the question of system reliability front and centre and, along with it, whether a mechanism like a capacity market could have led to a different outcome. We take a look at the US experience along with some of the issues it raises.

BY AEC Mar 04 2021
Dropping demand and plunging prices: Can you have too much of a good thing?

Dropping demand and plunging prices: Can you have too much of a good thing?

The fourth quarter of 2020 saw the NEM reach lowest average demand since Q4 2001 – with SA and Victoria’s spot prices hitting record lows. Are customers benefiting from the price suppression effects of renewable energy generation? Or is the market telling us a different story?

BY Ben Skinner Feb 18 2021
Concerns remain post-Liddell

Concerns remain post-Liddell

On Friday 20 November the modelling undertaken for the Liddell Taskforce was finally released, following the September release of the Taskforce report.

BY Carl Kitchen Dec 10 2020
A fresh challenge: How to account for zero or negative demand?

A fresh challenge: How to account for zero or negative demand?

The continued fall in minimum demand levels to new record lows in South Australia is raising a new challenge for the market.

BY Carl Kitchen Dec 03 2020
NSW Generation: What impact intervention?

NSW Generation: What impact intervention?

This week the Federal Government announced it would be prepared to step in to have 1000MW of dispatchable capacity built to replace the retiring 1680MW Liddell power station in NSW if the private sector does not “step up”.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 26 2020
Rewiring the nation or rewinding the nation?

Rewiring the nation or rewinding the nation?

On 8 October the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, made his reply to the Federal Budget. In it the ALP proposed a $20 billion policy entitled “Rewiring the Nation”. Is this a good idea? We take a look.

BY Duncan MacKinnon Oct 22 2020
Smoke on the solar: The impact on generation

Smoke on the solar: The impact on generation

The extreme weather conditions that led to massive bushfires occurring on both Australia’s south east coast last summer and across California more recently has had a dramatic and far reaching impact on people and communities.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 15 2020
Which state pays for interconnectors?

Which state pays for interconnectors?

Paul Keating said “Never get between a premier and a bucket of money”. When it comes to paying for interconnectors, the reverse holds equally true.

BY Ben Skinner Oct 01 2020
Getting hydrogen on your own supply

Getting hydrogen on your own supply

If you Google “technology roadmap”, in the ‘People also ask’ section there’s a question, “What is the purpose of a technology roadmap?” That seems a good place to start.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Sep 24 2020
Power station upgrades in the time of COVID-19

Power station upgrades in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrown up a range of challenges – some well understood, others still emerging. For the energy sector, the safety of its workforce and contractors is paramount, so minimising the risk of COVID-19 spread has been a daily focus since the pandemic began. At the same time, with energy an essential service, the industry has ensured this intense focus on workforce safety has not resulted in interruption to energy supply.

BY AEC Sep 24 2020
ESOO spotlight on reliability standards and low demand

ESOO spotlight on reliability standards and low demand

In some ways this year’s release of the market operator’s Electricity Statement of Opportunities seemed anticlimactic compared to its predecessor which had raised the spectre of a potential lack of supply in Victoria last summer.

BY Carl Kitchen Sep 03 2020
California dreaming of secure supplies

California dreaming of secure supplies

California has been grappling with a challenge familiar to parts of Australia’s energy market – how to make a seamless transition to a lower carbon grid. In California, as with South Australia in 2016, the transition was put to a stress test by a weather event. In the case of the US state it was a heatwave described as one of the worst in years leading to rolling blackouts.

BY Carl Kitchen Aug 27 2020
Western Australia’s dramatically changing electricity consumption

Western Australia’s dramatically changing electricity consumption

Recent data from the AEMO shows that demand and consumption in Western Australia has changed markedly from last year.

BY Carol Tran Jul 02 2020
The energy market: A sensible place to stimulate the economy?

The energy market: A sensible place to stimulate the economy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen major shifts across the globe, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warning that the shadow of the economic shock will be profound and long-lasting.

BY Ben Skinner May 07 2020
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