Gas burn at Queensland power stations has dropped in September

Following Tuesday’s post about low spot gas prices at the Brisbane STTM, we noticed two things this morning:

1)  That the FinReview has delved deeper , and

2)  That the sorry saga has not yet finished, as seen in this snapshot from NEM-Watch this morning, with the 5-minute dispatch price for electricity in Queensland dropping to only $6.35/MWh at 10:35 due to the lower Scheduled Demand*, higher volumes of gas-fired generation (compared with earlier in the week), and other factors.

*  we can see that Scheduled Demand is low as the region is coloured light-blue, which is at the bottom end of a historical range over the last few years (each region is colour-coded from dark blue (very low) to red (very high) based on its own historical demand range).

One of the reasons for this will be the growing share of the market being supplied by solar PV operating behind the meter, reducing the amount of demand that needs to be serviced by AEMO’s wholesale market.   Since the “early days” of the solar boom, when very generous subsidies 1 and extravagant deeming kick-started the boom, the level of installs are remaining high in Queensland – possibly being helped by some aggressive “get in now before the RET Review kills solar” style marketing campaigns.

For those who want to understand more, this AEMO definitions document is useful.  It’s not always “apples and apples” when talking about demand!

Electricity spot price in the doldrums in Queensland this morning

In parallel with the higher production from gas later in the week, we see that volumes at the Brisbane hub have also risen through the week, as seen in GasWatch:

Low gas prices at the brisbane hub of the STTM this week

Opening up NEM-Review and trending daily production volumes through the year, we can gain more perspective in seeing that daily gas burn volumes actually dropped in September compared to preceding months – though it is still considerably higher than the low-points of April/May:

Trended gas burn from Queensland power stations in NEM-Review

For the state government considering the privatisation of its two generators (CS Energy and Stanwell) pending the election result next year, it’s bound to be one of many factors in the melting pot at present…

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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