Our CEO, Paul McArdle spent the best part of last night piecing together the animation below in an attempt to understand what went on leading up to and during yesterday’s blackout throughout South Australia. Using ez2view, the animation explains what happened in generation and demand levels in South Australia between 06:00 and 17:00 on Wednesday the 28th of September, 2016.
Our CEO, Paul McArdle recently penned an article on WattClarity pondering whether the remarkable price results from Q2 were a short lived excursion or whether they are the begging of a more systematic change in pricing patterns. Paul’s article caught the attention of several journalists including Ben Potter from the Australian Financial Review, who referenced the analysis in his piece ‘COAG out of action as electricity prices soar‘, and sought comments from Paul on the topic:
Average wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market shot up to $65-$80 a megawatt hour in the mainland NEM states in the June quarter, and to $120 in Tasmania, Paul McArdle, director of GlobalRoam, said.
Over the weekend, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Ben Potter from the Australian Financial Review wrote an article discussing the potential cost of the recent Basslink cable failure that has been plaguing Tasmania over recent months. In March, our CEO, Paul McArdle published some of his thoughts on the topic in a post to WattClarity, and he followed it up with a short update last week responding to claims about the total cost of the cable failure. Seeking in-depth insights and analysis on the matter, the journalists referenced Paul’s comments on the matter:
The highest previous estimate of the economic impact of the outage was a $400 million back-of-the-envelope estimate from Brisbane-based energy consultant and GlobalRoam director Paul McArdle, based on similar methodology of applying the increase in average prices to typical usage.
One of our team members was surprised, last night (i.e. Friday 3rd June 2016) to see an old image of an old version of NEM-Watch (from way back in 2007) used to illustrate how Tasmania would normally be interconnected to the mainland by the sub-sea HVDC (high-voltage direct current) link connecting into the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.
Here’s the image that surprised us:
For those interested in the Tasmanian crisis, the ABC story here is worth a watch.
Coincidentally it was also yesterday that I’d published these updated thoughts on WattClarity ® about the magnitude of the cost incurred, in aggregate, by various stakeholders in the Tasmanian region of the NEM as a result of the Basslink outage, now about 6 months old.
Last week, Sydney Morning Herald journalist’s Adam Morton and Brian Morris published an article on the possible closure of coal-power generation at the Hazelwood Power Station. In the article, the journalists sought comments from a number of industry experts including our CEO, Paul McArdle. Providing experience and insight on the topic, Paul was quoted in the article:
Most analysts who spoke to Fairfax Media said it was difficult to say what impact removing Hazelwood would have on prices – Global-Roam’s Paul McArdle said it was the “million dollar question” – but many said they were likely to increase.
Paul McArdle, managing director at Global-Roam, said: “The reality is nobody knows because it depends what competitors do.” He said it was likely prices would rise while also lifting AGL’s profitability, for example.
A recent article published by our CEO, Paul McArdle about the state of Tasmania’s electricity supply was quoted by journalist Ben Potter in yesterday’s edition of the Australian Financial Review. Ben Potter sought quotes from a number of experts in the industry to clarify what cost the current Tasmanian energy crisis may result in:
“Whatever the number, it’s big” said Paul McArdle, managing director of energy consultancy Global-Roam, in a blog post last month. Mr McArdle estimated the crisis would add about $216 milliion to Tasmania’s energy costs over the March quarter.
The estimate is based on average prices of about $!50MWh – about $100 above pre-crisis prices – and average consumption of 1000MW over the quarter.
The electricity supply industry is currently the subject of much conjecture about how the future might unfold.
One such scenario involves the possibility that the cost of solar and storage will continue past patterns of decline to the point where the cost of each becomes negligible. Software industry veteran Mike Cannon Brooks commented on this recently, so our CEO Paul McArdle was contacted for insights (due to our positioning at the intersection of energy and Information Technology) about the plausibility of this scenario – leading to the article “Completely Free Energy a hard swallow for captains of industry” in the Financial Review on 18th March 2016:
Further thoughts will be posted at a later date at WattClarity®, our industry commentary site.
Energy, science and technology blogger Ketan Joshi published an article on Monday which posed the question ‘Is Sydney’s heat decoupling from demand spikes?’. Within the post, he uses historical data from NEM-Review to compare New South Wales’ average demand between 2000-2015 against the daily average demand so far in 2016:
“Curiously, demand isn’t much higher or lower than the past five years. Keep in mind this comparison is slightly different – averages from 2000 to 2015, rather than temperature averages from 1859 to 2015 (like-for-like also shows average 2016 temps above the 2010-2015 average, though).”
“Regardless, there’s a novel disconnect, here. Sydney’s unusually high temps aren’t driving unusually high demand.”
The Snowy Hydro Corporation have submitted a rule change request that would see a change to the National Electricity Rules to oblige price sensitive demand greater than 30MW to bid into central dispatch.
An excerpt from this WattClarity article posted in January 2014 was used in the ‘Statement of issue’ section of the consultation paper, including a screenshot taken from ez2view.
Paul is booked in to speak at the 2015 All Energy conference about what role Demand Response might play in a future environment where intermittent generation sources supply a significantly higher percentage of the energy mix in the NEM.
In his article, Paul notes assumptions about consumption, the network and supply before going on to model a load duration curve.