NEM-wide scheduled demand exceeds 31,000MW and IRPM drops to 11.93% on Monday 5th July 2021

A short note this evening to note that my SMS alerts on low NEM-wide IRPM have been buzzing.


(A)  Low NEM-wide IRPM

Here’s a view of some of the messages received, with the lowest point seen for the 17:50 dispatch interval being down at 11.93% NEM-wide:


Here’s a snapshot from NEMwatch v10.2  (a version we’re testing for Five Minute Settlement) to show more of what was happening for the 17:50 dispatch interval:


As shown in the annotation, at this time there was under 4,000MW of unused ‘Available Generation’ capacity.


(B)  Demand levels up, for winter evening peak

Also worth noting that the NEM-wide ‘Scheduled Demand’ (measured here with ‘TOTALDEMAND’) climbed above 31,000MW at 17:40 and has remained quite consistently at those levels over the hour since that time.

Whilst that level is still well down on the ‘all time maximum’ levels, we can see from the following trend of ‘Monthly Peak Demand’ in NEMreview v7 that it’s still a sizeable level compared to recent winter periods:


For comparison purposes, if we look past the summer peaks we see this evening’s demand compares closely:

1)  Peak this evening was 31,350MW at 18:10 (at least thus far).

2)  Highest in winter 2020 was 30,560MW (perhaps more affected by COVID lockdowns?)

3)  In winter 2019 the highest (31,359MW) was just a shade higher than this evening

4)  Winter 2018 peak was 31,259MW

5)  Winter 2017 peak was only 30,183MW

6) … and so on

7)  Indeed, you’d have to go back to June 2010 to have seen a noticeably higher winter demand (at 32,304MW from 18:35 on 29th June 2010)

8)  Highest winter point in NEM history was 34,394MW – at 18:30 on 28th July 2008 (which did not seem to have an article written about it).

The above stats come from using ‘TOTAL DEMAND’, which is a proxy for ‘Market Demand’:

1)  Clearly ‘DEMAND-andNSG’ as a proxy for ‘Operational Demand’ is higher (there are pros and cons of each)

2)  Clients with licence access can open their own copy of this NEMreview query to peruse more…


(C)  Prices relatively subdued

Interesting, prices were elevated, but no spikes above $500/MWh.

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.

1 Comment on "NEM-wide scheduled demand exceeds 31,000MW and IRPM drops to 11.93% on Monday 5th July 2021"

  1. These winter peaks will only rise as more houses, and to a lesser extent commercial buildings, switch to reverse cycle air conditioning for their primary source of heating. This will be most obvious in Victoria.

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