Animation on WattClarity helps explain what happened during yesterday’s blackout throughout South Australia

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.

An initial post and an update on the situation has already been posted on WattClarity, but time permitting, more analysis of what’s happened will be published over the coming days and weeks.

WattClarity helps the Australian Financial Review explain Tasmanian situation

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.

Journalist asks for insight about “free energy”

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:

Copy of article from the AFR on 18th March

 

Further thoughts will be posted at a later date at WattClarity®, our industry commentary site.

Energy blogger uses NEM-Review to analyse historical demand data

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.”

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Energy generator uses WattClarity and ez2view to highlight demand side response in consultation paper for rule change request

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.

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Explaining what demand would look like on a renewable-heavy NEM to a wider audience

A previous article written by our CEO, Paul McArdle for WattClarity has recently been published on RenewEconomy.

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.

DurationCurveUnservedNativeDemand03peak

Explaining South Australian wind generation to interested (and confused) stakeholders

After fielding a number of questions relating to wind farm production in South Australia over a two week period – our CEO, Paul McArdle took to WattClarity to help make the complexity of the situation understandable to many interested (and confused) onlookers.

To illustrate the yin and yang of wind over a 4-day period for broader consumption, we used our NEM-Watch entry-level dashboard. Using screenshots of NEM-Watch we were able to create the animation below to clearly explain what was happening over the 4-day period.

 

Explaining why large energy users are concerned about last week’s machinations in South Australia

A week of unusual occurrences in the South Australian energy space fascinated many onlookers, particularly large energy users.

After fielding a number of calls from large energy users in South Australia who were wanting to know what was going on, our CEO, Paul McArdle wrote this article on WattClarity to explain why they were concerned, to note observations about what happened and to state the possible implications for the future.

Providing insights about the state of solar-panel subsidies in Australia

In the summer of 2013-14, Geoff Winestock wrote an article for the Australian Financial Review regarding the state of solar-panel subsidies which became topical after a series of heatwaves in the southern parts of Australia. The article came after the AEMC issued a report stating that the cost of solar-panel subsidies will be a significant contributor to energy prices in the coming years. Our CEO, Paul McArdle was asked to provide insights on the topic:

 

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NEM-Watch used to explain peaking spot prices to a wider audience

Duncan Hughes from The Australian Financial Review has sought clarification using NEM-Watch to explain why the national electricity market was a “whisker short of a blackout” on a Tuesday night in June 2007.

Using a snapshot of NEM-Watch, Mr Hughes was able to illustrate how spot prices peaked:

According to NEM-Watch, a specialist software provider, a snapshot of the eastern seaboard and South Australia on Tuesday at 5:45pm, revealed spot prices paid by retailers hit more than $9400 MWH in Queensland, $9100 MWH in NSW, $7500 MWH in Victoria and more than $4500 MWH in South Australia.

NEM-Watch managing director Paul McArdle said at the peak of demand, national reserves were about 7 percent of capacity, or half of the typical back up of the national electricity market.