I’ve annotated the image with 3 points:
1) All-time maximum forecast for this afternoon (only just)
At this point, the highest the demand forecast is predicted to be is 9,480MW in the half-hour ending 17:00 – which would be (just) higher than the highest level reached on 18th January on a dispatch target basis.
This is a little lower than the forecast from early this morning – the following chart from Forecast Convergence in ez2view provides a view of what’s been happening with these forecasts on every 30-minute refresh by the AEMO:
As can be seen:
1a) There is a fair spread in the forecasts for 17:00 today; and
1b) The actual demand for 12:30 today was actually higher than all prior forecasts – though this does not necessarily carry through to imply the same for 17:00 (it does show, however, how forecasting is a mug’s game – but one the AEMO has to do (and often get bashed for)).
2) We’re currently running at tight supply/demand balance
I’ve noted on the NEM-Watch image above how (at 12:20) we were running with an Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin of below 15% – a key explanation of why prices are elevated (i.e. it’s a natural market response).
3) AEMO has re-triggered the LOR1 warning for this afternoon
Also flagged is the re-triggering of the LOR1 notice this afternoon, which AEMO had cancelled a little earlier in response to its forecasts shifting around a little (we can see the size of the shift in the forecast above).
As I explained to someone directly over the past couple days with dramas in SA, NSW and QLD (and less so in VIC), I understand the political sensitivity about these sort of notices – but it would smack of misdirected priorities if Ministers of Energy were to be too nervous about these notices being issued:
3a) It would seem too much like “managing the message” rather than actually fixing the problem of a multi-layered supply/demand crisis in the electricity sector as all these groups have joined together to plead at State and Federal level.
3b) I should not have to be pointing out that the AEMO issues these notices to elicit a market response – a process which actually works quite well, the vast majority of the time (and, when it does not – such as in SA and NSW, it’s not because of the message, or the messenger).
I ask the more seasoned readers to please excuse my profoundly disillusioned view currently – to me currently politicians seem part of the problem, not part of the solution (more on that later, perhaps…)