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.

Asked to write an article for the Financial Review on Generation Oversupply

As someone seen as a source of insight about the National Electricity Market by a number of journalists, including many who follow the articles posted on our WattClarity® industry commentary site, it is logical that our CEO (Paul McArdle) would be asked to write the article “Generation wallows in oversupply” for the Financial Review to provide some context to one aspect of the ongoing RET Review.

It is also understandable that Paul would follow up that article in the AFR with this article on WattClarity that included a clear picture of how the decline in electricity demand is presenting challenges for the successful implementation of the Renewable Energy Target.

Following further on this theme, a second article was also posted on WattClarity® with a graphical illustration of the size of the main electricity generators supplying the NEM.

Explaining solar power’s contribution to power supply to a wider audience

Our CEO, Paul McArdle has been quoted by Angela Macdonald-Smith from The Australian Financial Review in regards to solar power’s place within the NEM. Paul’s comments provided an insight to a wide audience about solar’s “small but rapidly growing contribution” to power supply.

He was quoted as saying:

“About 3 gigawatts of solar power is installed across the national electricity market. In the absence of solar demand would have been higher this week byt now much is difficult to say. Only those household that had oversized their solar systems thanks to earlier, more generous feed-in tariffs would probably be able to meet their own air conditioning demand during the summer peak. Others who installed systems would still be relying on the grid to supplement their own solar generation.

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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Journalist refers to Global-Roam to provide an explanation for supply shortage

Rod Myer from The Age has sought insights from Global-Roam to help explain the fragility of Australia’s power supplies after electricity prices in New South Wales and Queensland spiked to nearly the limit – $10,000 per megawatt hour. In his article, he refers to Global-Roam to explain the reason for the supply shortage:

Generation cuts in very hot conditions led to record demand levels for the second day in a row.

So dire was the situation in NSW that in mid-afternoon generation output, at just over 10,000 megawatts, was over 200 megawatts below demand.

The shortage appears to have been caused by plant failure and planned outages in NSW and Queensland. About 700 megawatts of production appeared to drop out in both states, according to information from power market software producer Global-Roam.