A hot Saturday could have driven demand higher – but how much?

Another automated email alert from NEM-Watch on Saturday highlighted the high temperatures experienced on that day – as shown in the following chart (highlighting one of the price blips that also occurred on the day):

A hot Saturday in February

Compared to Friday’s later post, we see that the demand in VIC and SA did climb reasonably high – despite it being a Saturday:
1)  We can see in SA that the demand was much the same as on the previous day.
2)  In VIC we see demand was 400MW lower than on the Friday.

What might the NEM-wide demand have been if these temperatures were experienced on a working weekday?

In the following chart generated with NEM-Review, we have compared the peak daily demand for VIC across each week in summer 2011-12.  As can be seen, the demand experienced on Saturday was considerably higher than that experienced any other week:
1)  Almost 800MW higher than that experienced on 28th January; and
2)  More than 1300MW higher than that experienced on any other summer’s Saturday.

However we can also see that, even adding this margin onto a typical weekday peak demand would not see VIC demand levels up near the previous record levels of around 10,300MW.


A similar chart for South Australia (below) reveals that the demand this Saturday was significantly higher than that experienced on any other Saturday.  It also shows the commonality of weather patterns across those two states.


At the end of the day, however, we see that (though temperatures did drive demand higher) there was nothing to indicate that either state would have experienced a new record demand had the higher temperatures have been experienced on a weekday.

Does this help to indicate that the underlying decline in demand has hit VIC and SA harder than in QLD (where we saw demands high in January) as a result of higher demands being supported there by the mining & minerals boom?

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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