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.
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.
We have been a keen supporter of different aspects of Demand Response in Australia’s national electricity market. We have been, for instance, facilitating demand response for a number of large industrial energy users for more than a decade .
Over more than a decade, we have seen a steadily increasing awareness of the capacity of Demand Response to deliver significant value to the industry as a whole – whilst also providing a benefit to the particular energy user supplying the flexible consumption.
Years ago when we started this process, we found that the initial awareness was almost zero (and a reasonable amount of negativity in some quarters). Hence we accepted, as part of our role, some responsibility for providing education about demand response – what it is, how it might work in the context of the NEM, and what the benefits would be.
We’ve not been the only ones involved in actively promoting the potential of demand response – there are a number of others that have made key contributions (which are referenced in the “Stakeholders” section of the site ** please let us know if we have missed others **).
The development of the site www.DemandResponse.com.au as another free service provided to electricity sector stakeholders, with the aim of making this particular aspect of complexity more understandable, was a logical extension of the time we have invested in education about Demand Response over the past decade and more….
We posted this article on the site on 1st July 2015 and have contacted many market stakeholders and observers, keenly seeking their input into making the site as effective as it can be in helping to make different methods of Demand Response as understandable by, and accessible to, a broad range of electricity users.
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.
Following a period of market volatility in the SA and VIC regions of the National Electricity Market, one of our clients noted to us the following:
“In recent days with volatility in SA and VIC driven by unforeseen constraints the ez2view tool has proven very useful. It’s an intuitive way to quickly get to grips with a new constraint and work out who/what is affected. I can confirm that it is the reference I use in these situations”
Matt Shanahan – Spot Trader, EnergyAustralia
14th of December 2012
It’s always nice to hear from our customers that what we strive so hard to build does deliver the benefits intended.
In particular we’re pleased to note that ez2view was particularly useful when the market stepped outside of ‘normal’ and threw up something a little different. It’s those occasions when opportunities can really arise, and we like to help our clients make the most of them.
One of our government department clients has recently left us a comment after using NEM-Watch and NEM-Review for an extended period of time:
“Thank you very much for your excellent service. We, at the Department, highly value both of your products (NEM-Watch and NEM-Review), which we use on a regular basis and find them extremely useful in the provision of any NEM related data analysis”
Dr T S Prasad – Manager Analysis & Modelling, Department of Water & Energy
7th of April 2008
It’s fantastic to see that government departments are continuing to get value out of our products, particularly when generating context-sensitive insights into data.
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.