A tight supply/demand balance in NSW over the week (4th June to 8th June 2018) triggers various activity

Over the prior week (Monday 4th June to Friday 8th June 2018), the NSW region – and, to a lesser extent, the broader NEM – experienced a tight supply/demand balance.

In response to what was happening during the week, we saw a range of activity ourselves, including:

(1)  One-on-one questions with clients

Our prime focus is (and always has been) on continually enhancing how we serve our diverse and growing range of clients, who use our software (and other products) to help them understand what’s going on in the energy market.

Given that the events of that week were so complex (and coincidentally that I had pre-arranged commitments in NSW with a number of clients & others) it was not really a surprise that we fielded a number of questions (some described here) about what was going on.  We appreciate these questions – as they stretch our capability to understand, and explain clearly, complex events such as what happened last week.

(2)  On social media

On the evening of Thursday 7th June, I had a brief amount of time to post this snapshot of the NEM from NEM-Watch v10 on social media (LinkedIn, and Twitter) – which led to some discussions on social media, and elsewhere:

Over the weekend that followed, I was able to grab a few hours to take a more measured look at what had occurred through the week, as a result of which I could post the article “Recapping a shaky week for the supply-demand balance in the NSW region last week” on WattClarity on Monday 11th June.

(3)  In the traditional media

As a result of all of the above, and what we have done in the past, it was also not really a surprise to find ourselves referenced and quoted in the more traditional media over that week, and in the discussion that followed.  Here are some of the references we noted:

Saturday 9th June

As noted on the NEMwatch portal, we found our (RenewEconomy-sponsored) NEMwatch Live Supply & Demand widget referenced in the Newcastle Herald.

Journalist Andrew White from the Australian asked our CEO (Paul McArdle) a few questions before publishing an article on Saturday 9th June “Outages see power prices hit the roof” – including this paragraph:

The founder of Global-Roam consultancy Paul McArdle said only 6000MW of NSW coal ­capacity was available yesterday, which was an improvement on Thursday, but about 2000MW less than at the same time last week.
(though note that we’re a software company, not a consultancy)

Interested readers can see the chart (generated with our NEMreview v7 historical analysis tool) provided to Andrew on Friday 8th June here:

Mon 11th June

Drawing on the more detailed analysis published on Wattclarity on Monday morning, Andrew White from the Australian was able to publish an article on Monday 11th June “Paul McArdle of WattClarity: NSW power outages ‘threat to industry’” .

Tue 12th June

On Tuesday, Ben Potter from the AFR included some references to the WattClarity article in his article “Big power resists AEMO ‘strategic reserve’ push after NSW squeeze” .

Wed 13th June

After we’d both attended the launch of the Victorian Energy Policy Center in Melbourne on Wednesday 13th June, Ben Potter from the AFR also included reference to the WattClarity review of the prior week in his article “Energy expert to Tomago Aluminium: Buy cheap wind and solar power” .

 

 

 

“The Australian” used NEM-watch Live Generation widget to illustrate fuel mix

In his article “Rush to renewables as coal cools” in the Australian on Thursday 7th September, Andrew White used a reproduction of the RenewEconomy-sponsored NEM-Watch Fuel Type Widget to help his readers understand the fuel mix that was occurring for one 5-minute period (the 16:30 “dispatch interval”) the previous day.  The widget also has been designed to help those not so familiar with – part of our effort to help with Energy Literacy in more general terms.

For those who did not see it, here’s the image (with a few clarifications, to help with the understandability):

(click HERE for a higher resolution view)

We appreciate every opportunity to help people understand what’s happening in Australia’s energy sector (particularly the “National Electricity Market”), and would invite readers to visit the live copy of the NEM-Watch Widget to watch as the fuel mix changes through each and every day.

No charge, if you want to embed this on your website – thanks to the widget’s sponsor, RenewEconomy!  Just click the <EMBED> button on the widget and follow the instructions.

The Advertiser uses the NEM-watch Widget in explanation

Monday 31st July 2017 was a day (one of an increasing number in recent years) when dispatch prices for energy in South Australia dropped below $0/MWh – and, in this case, down to the Market Floor of -$1,000/MWh for the 13:30 dispatch interval.

We posted two images from NEM-Watch v10 on WattClarity here, to help to illustrate that there was more going on than just “energy” market considerations.

We also noticed that the Advertiser (in this article here) referenced our NEM-Watch Widget in their story about strong winds, and a transmission outage causing export limitations, contributing to negative prices in the region.  Here’s a snapshot of some of the article:

Given we intend all of our products to make complexity more understandable, so people can make better decisions” it’s always good to see people acknowledge that we deliver on that mission, in this way.

References to WattClarity “astonishing Q2 prices” article referenced in various locations

References to WattClarity “astonishing Q2 prices” article referenced in various locations

On Thursday 6th July 2017, I posted this analysis on WattClarity ® about some “off the chart” movements in average prices, and pricing patterns, across all 5 regions of the NEM – but most pronounced in VIC, TAS and SA.  This analysis was performed using NEMreview v6.

Following from this, we saw the analysis referenced in a range of locations, some of which will be progressively added below:

in the Australian Financial Review

On Friday 7th July we saw the analysis referenced:

in the ABC

Various commentaries were made by others* on ABC Radio referencing the analysis, and I noticed that:

*  note that we don’t, ourselves, speak on TV or Radio, as it takes our time away from directly serving our client base.

across Social Media

various comments were made across social media (LinkedIn and Twitter are the ones I mostly use).

 

 

References to Wattclarity “wind drought” article in newspaper reports

References to Wattclarity “wind drought” article in newspaper reports

On Friday 30th June 2017, I posted this analysis on WattClarity ® about the low levels of aggregate wind production seen across the NEM through June 2017.

Matt Chambers, resources reporter at The Australian picked up this article and added additional comments in his article “Lack of wind blows out South Australia power costs” on Tuesday 4th July (subscriber access required):

 

 

About media quote on solar panels being “mostly useless” late in the day

During the national heatwave of February 2016, we fielded many calls from journalists and saw an increasing number of parties use (or embed) a variety of our bite-sized widgets, all focused at making some aspects of complexity more understandable.

One of the conversations I had with a journalist let to being quoted over the weekend saying that solar PV was “mostly useless” late in the day.  Hence, over the weekend I added this note of clarification on WattClarity for those who are interested in more than just soundbites.

Providing insights to The Australian about the situation in South Australia

National Business Correspondent for The Australian, Annabel Hepworth published an article which details the concerns of big energy users in South Australia over high electricity prices after the recent turmoil in the state. Attempting to extend understanding on the situation Paul McArdle provided insights for the article, stating that blackout had “just put a two-week stop” to commercial concerns about the market “but the concerns continue”.

2016-10-13-power-fears-as-emergency-order-ends

NEM-Watch Fuel Type Widget snapshot helps illustrate the state of South Australian energy generation after blackout

In an effort to talk around last week’s power blackout in South Australia to a wider audience, The Australian published a number of infographics on pg. 6 of their daily edition on Thursday, the 18th of October, 2016.

Included was an artistic reproduction of a snapshot taken from our NEM-Watch Widget from 4pm the previous day – as shown here:

2016-10-07-power-being-generated-at-4pm-yesterday

The snapshot was used to compare the energy generation make-up for each state against their respective renewable energy targets

The Australian attributed this image to the SA Government, because they accessed the live chart on the SA Government website.

This location in the Department of State Development is the current location (as at October 2016) of the embedded copy of the NEM-Watch Fuel Type Widgets, one of the growing number of 3rd party “Host” locations that are choosing to embed this widget, which started its life at these two initial locations:

  1.  At RenewEconomy here; and
  2. On the NEM-Watch portal here.

 

Pondering the future of Australia’s electricity market through detailed analysis

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.

Providing analysis on the possible closure of Australian power station

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.