The final quarter of 2021 was another busy one for our team at Global-Roam. A year that already felt like a marathon was rounded off with a sprint finish as we completed the final pieces of written analysis that allowed us to publish ‘GenInsights21’ just one and a half weeks before Christmas Day.
Below I have summarised some news from around the company during Q4.
Generator Insights 2021 released
On December 15th 2021, we were pleased to release our Generator Insights 2021 report in conjunction with the team at Greenview Strategic Consulting, led by Jonathon Dyson.
The 622-page report is an update to the analytical component of the Generator Report Card that we released in May 2019. GenInsights21 covers much ground, it looks at 20+ years of generation data in the NEM, with a particular focus on more recent years – exploring what the past tells us about future challenges in Australia’s energy transition. More information about the full report can be found on WattClarity, and it’s worth noting that Paul has published an article that lists the x28 appendices that are covered in-depth within the report.
GenInsights21 is another demonstration of our continually growing internal and external market analysis capabilities. Specifically, it’s development enabled us to leverage the skills and experience of team members that have joined us in the past couple of years. Its release has led to numerous conversations with market stakeholders about the direction of the market and industry at large, and many of the insights we gleaned while writing the report will guide our decision-making for how our software will evolve in 2022 and beyond.
Early media coverage and customer feedback
In the two months since it was published, several news sites have covered the analysis and research within GenInsights21:
- Ecogeneration published an interview with Paul and Jonathon which focused on the ‘net-zero or 100% renewables’ question that was explored. Jeremy of Ecogeneration writes “(the report) shows the risks to generators and consumers of a rapid, uncoordinated transition to clean energy”.
- PV Magazine covered one of the report’s conclusions – that variability is compounding complexity, which is in turn compounding risk. One noteworthy line from the article reads “as the authors remind us more than once, success is not guaranteed”.
- Energy Source & Distribution Magazine also reported on the increased complexity and risk that the report highlights, quoting several paragraphs from GenInsights21 about the impact of these risks on market participants.
- Keith Orchison’s Coolibah Consulting Blog praised the report in his February issue, saying “it’s a bit early in the year to declare a publication you have been sent to be the most interesting of 2022, but others will have to go some to outdo the GenInsights21 research”. He continued on to praise the report’s efforts to tackle the topic of the energy transition “without emotional and/or political baggage”.
In the coming weeks, I will publish an article on WattClarity which includes media references, along with direct customer feedback that has been sent our way.
Ongoing development work continued on ez2view
Hot on the heels of the arduous task of upgrading all of our software products for the introduction of 5-minute settlement in Q3, the commencement of the Wholesale Demand Respond Mechanism (WDRM) took effect a little over 3 weeks afterwards. Like 5MS, the WDRM rule change also required some work for our development team in order to cater for the new types of data to be published under the mechanism.
ez2view v9.2 released, followed by v9.3
In the first week of October we made ez2view v9.2 available to our clients. This minor release corrected several small bugs and enabled the display of real-time data for non-scheduled units in the ‘Station Dashboard’ and ‘Unit Dashboard’ widgets.
Version 9.3 was released a little under one month later which incorporated the new WDRM data type. One example of the utilisation of this data is shown in the image below, taken from our ‘NEM Map’ widget, which shows 10MW of Negawatts being dispatched in NSW. This release also included several enhancements to other widgets incorporating this data including the ‘Regional Trends’ and ‘Swim Lanes’ widgets.
On a related note, in December I wrote a short article examining how many Negawatts had been dispatched through the WDRM mechanism in the weeks after it’s implementation (while just last week our own Linton Corbet provided an update about the three WDRM units that have been registered).
Presenting at the Australian Institute of Energy
Paul delivered a presentation at an event organised by the Australian Institute of Energy in Brisbane on December 2nd, 2021. During the event he shared some early insights into how the introduction of 5-minute settlement had begun to affect the market. Some of this analysis and insights were also covered in Appendix 28 within GenInsights21.
Some headlines from around the market
- On December 10th, the AEMO released the draft of its 2022 Integrated System Plan. Much of the mainstream media coverage that followed was focused on the potential early exit of coal-fired power stations from the market.
- On December 2nd, a final determination on a rule change regarding the integration of storage systems into the NEM was announced by the AEMC.
- On November 27th, market demand in South Australia went negative for the second time in less than a week.
- On November 21st, in a first for the NEM, demand went negative in a region when South Australia’s market demand hit -38MW. Some media outlets reported that this was the first time in the world that a gigawatt-scale grid had negative electricity demand.
- On November 11th, a coal bunker fire broke out at Yallourn Power Station.
- On October 24th, the Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism (WDRM) commenced, allowing industrial energy users to bid their Negawatts into the market directly.
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