The return of the evening price spikes as the winter demand shape arrives a little early

Could not help but notice the elevated prices across the mainland regions this evening, as demand increases by approximately 4000MW over 3 hours this evening in response to lighting and electric heating demands, amongst other things – as shown in this NEM-Watch snapshot:

Elevated prices in response to demand increasing this Sunday evening

This type of pricing was first noticed in winter 2002, and has continued on-and-off since that time.

Some winters have exhibited more volatility than others what will be the case in winter 2013?


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One other pertinent question, as we head into winter 2013, is the extent to which the factors that drove sustained (not just volatile) high prices in the QLD region over summer 2013 will return for winter.

Our detailed review of what happened in Queensland over summer (and into Q1), that will be provided to purchasers in early June, will help you understand.

For those who want to have their copy delivered as soon as it is released, you can pre-order today and still save 10%.  Just fax back this order form (an offer just for WattClarity® Readers) with your details.

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.

4 Comments on "The return of the evening price spikes as the winter demand shape arrives a little early"

  1. I wonder how much of this afternoon peak is caused by a fall off of rooftop solar in winter afternoons. Even in far north NSW, you don’t get much solar after 2 pm in winter. The fact that it occurs even on a Sunday might suggest it has more to do with domestic demand rather than commercial.

    • Hi Martin
      Not sure I understand this question – the evening peak in demand has existed for many years. Perhaps the input of PV during daylight hours (prior to the peak) has increased the rate at which net demand (to be met by the wholesale market) ramps up to the peak has increased in recent years – is this what you were meaning?

    • Martin, unless the sun goes down at 3PM PV is still going to have a reasonable output. Like Paul said PV isn’t going to impact evening demand. There is only ~500 MW of PV installed in NSW so I don’t see it drastically effecting price. Check out the examples of the German multi-GW PV capacity cutting the middle out of the daily demand …and price.

  2. Yes, sort of. PV in summer would reduce grid demand during the day exaggerating the peak in the summer evenings as the sun sinks increasing grid demand. I suppose a test of this theory would be whether the evening demand has remand flat over the last 5 years but the evening “peaks” (relative to midday) are becoming more prominant as winter approaches. Something like that 🙂

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