Full steam ahead, for completion of GenInsights21 (release delayed a short while)


It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the combined team across Global-Roam Pty Ltd (publishers of WattClarity) and Greenview Strategic Consulting – who, collectively, are the authors of the upcoming GenInsights21 release – and also quite busy for the range of others whose assistance we appreciate in review of an accelerating number of draft copies!

 

(A)  We’re not going to make today’s envisaged release date

Back on 12th October, when we re-started development of GenInsights21 following some market-induced delays, we envisaged we’d be releasing GenInsights21 today – Monday 6th December 2021.

We’re not going to make a release today (to the growing number of clients who have submitted their pre-orders, please accept our apologies for asking you to wait a little longer) – but we are full steam ahead to have the various parts of the report completed as soon as possible.  In this short article today we will provide a bit of context on the delay, and what we’re focused on, for completion.

We’ll continue to keep you informed on our progress via occasional articles here on WattClarity.

 

(B)  Some context on the delay (and some insights into the content)

Wednesday last week we compiled a draft PDF in its entirety that was 532 pages long … and that’s a draft with some pieces missing at the time.  Those missing pieces have mostly been finalised, but you’ll understand that the final release will be somewhat larger than that draft.

(B1)  A large number of separate ‘Deep Dive’ Appendices

As noted on 12th October, there are a few different components to what we are compiling – with one of these components being a significant number of separate ‘Deep Dive’ Appendices.  Each of these have been developed independently:

(a)  By the combined teams at both companies; and

(b)  Also with the (gratefully received) assistance of a number of others.

I thought it would be useful to provide you some context here to some of the Appendices that we have accumulated:

#

Grouping

Appendix Title

Brief synopsis.

1

High-Level Perspectives

A history of Renewables Development in the NEM

(15 pages)

When we started mapping out GenInsights21, it became apparent that it would benefit from the inclusion of a focused description of the 20-year history of renewables development for the NEM.

With the assistance of Tristan Edis and others at Green Energy Markets, we are able to include this as the first Appendix in GenInsights21.

2

High-Level Perspectives

Return on Invested Capital

(14 pages)

Back in Q2 2021 we all experienced incredible price volatility … which we explored at the times and was the result of a number of different factors.

Back at that time, valued guest author Allan O’Neil started ‘eating the elephant’ to explore some aspects of what happened over Q2.  Posted at the time were:

(a)  An appetiser, on 20th June 2021.

(b)  A second serving, on 22nd June 2021.

With Allan’s assistance we are able to include in GenInsights21 ‘the Main Course’ in the form of a review of what Q2 volatility would say about Return on Invested Capital (another metric added to the expanded Glossary included with GenInsights21).

3

More will be revealed later

4

High-Level Perspectives

20-year trend of Marginal Loss Factors

(12 pages)

There’s been a lot of questions asked about Marginal Loss Factors in recent years (it was named as Headwind #1 by Allan in his article ‘How good is solar farming?’ in January 2020).

We thought it would be a useful point of context to include this 12-page and very graphical 20-year review of Marginal Loss Factors across the NEM so readers of GenInsights21 can ‘see the woods for the trees’!

There’s also a ‘guess the mystery DUID’ quiz out there, for those so inclined!

5

More will be revealed later

6

High-Level Perspectives

A review of self-forecasting

(18 pages)

One area of technology that has seen rapid growth in recent years (off the back of ARENA support) has been the use of Self-Forecasting by operators of Semi-Scheduled Wind and Solar plant in the NEM.

The number of installed Wind Farms and Solar Farms continues to grow every year in the NEM – and many expect this to continue (and accelerate) into the future.

The end of 2021 provides a timely juncture to look back and include this review of self-forecasting systems – with a particular eye to:

(a)  review of the uptake and consistency of usage of the self-forecasts, and

(b)  a review of the purpose of the self-forecasting process.

Some interesting observations there!

7

More will be revealed later

8

Actual Market Outcomes

Frequency Performance

(14 pages)

Another recent development for the NEM has been the change in frequency distribution now experienced across the NEM, off the back of the re-implementation of Primary Frequency Control (PFC – or PFR) .

Following a review by the AEMC the draft proposal published October 2021 is for PFR to remain mandatory.

A great time, therefore, for us to include a detailed review of frequency performance as part of this compendium of insights.

9

Actual Market Outcomes

FCAS exploration

(6 pages,
and FCAS bids are also discussed in Part 3)

Given that Jonathon Dyson wrote ‘Let’s talk about FCAS!’ way back in 2017, and followed that up with ‘FCAS Matters – more than ever’ in February 2020, it should be no surprise to anyone that we’ve focused one particular Deep Dive Appendix on a review of each of the 8 individual FCAS markets.

More will be revealed later

14

Actual Market Outcomes

Minimum Demand

(still TBC)

On WattClarity we’re posting increasingly frequently about the dynamic of reducing minimum demand in the NEM – both from the perspective of individual regions and also on a NEM-wide basis.

On 31st October 2021 was the last time we had time to post this updated table of record low points, but it is already out of date in some regions.

What better time then to step back and think through some of the implications of this change, via Appendix 14.

15

More will be revealed later

16

Actual Generation Outcomes

Forecast Convergence

(29 pages)

Through our ez2view software, we have provided the capability of ‘Forecast Convergence’ to an expanding number of our client base.

Back on 21st June 2021, Linton used a similar ‘Forecast Convergence’ function to ask the question ‘Is the predictability of day-ahead demand improving?’ .

That’s the tip of the iceberg, though, in terms of really drilling into some of the core challenges that we’re increasingly being presented with in this energy transition.  For instance, what does it mean in terms of firmness of forecast availability’ of these different types of Mystery DUIDs?

17

More will be revealed later

18

Actual Generation Outcomes

Coal unit Unavailability

(12 pages)

In amongst Part 4 of the GRC2018 we provided a 17-year trended review of coal unit unavailability – leading the readers with questions about a possible trend we highlighted as emerging in the 12 month period to 31st December 2018.

In Appendix 18 within GenInsights21 we provide answers to the questions that we had at that time!

[there are a couple other Appendices, as well, that delve into the different challenges of coal, as it declines]

More will be revealed later

22

Actual Generation Outcomes

A review of bidding ‘busyness’

(49 pages)

The end of 2021 is also a very topical time to review what’s been happening with bidding behaviours with Generators (and Scheduled Loads) given a number of recent changes underway in the market – including:

(a)  the transition to Five Minute Settlement ,
(b)  the Rise of the Auto-bidder , and
(c)  recent improvements that the AEMO has made to the dispatch process.

There’s much that jumped out at us in performing this review recently!

More will be revealed later

27

The Future

Exploring Wind Diversity

(28 pages)

I’ve previously noted that this one has been developed for a number of months, ready for inclusion in the GenInsights21 release – thanks to the assistance of Stephen Wilson and others.

This takes what we completed for the GRC2018 some years ago and extends it significantly – to answer some of the questions we asked in the GRC2018, but which we’d not seen anyone else answer in the intervening period.

28

The Future

Early insights from 5MS

(49 pages)

The audience who was present in Brisbane last week on Thursday 2nd December at the event organised by the Australian Institute of Energy about ‘Early insights on – Early insights about Five Minute Settlement’, you will have some idea about what’s in this Appendix.

.

That’s a brief overview of what we’ve tackled in 12 of the Appendices to be included with GenInsights21 (i.e. it’s under half of the total number) … and there are many more like these (but on different topics).  Readers here might be able to understand that it’s quite a broad and deep compendium of separate pieces of analysis about a variety of different aspects of this energy transition.

 

(B2)  Pulling it all together, and answering the ‘So what’s it all mean?’ questions

Given the breadth, and the depth, we’ve decided that we need to take a bit more of a pause and reflection – in between the collation of all of these individual appendices and thinking through the answers the bigger higher-level questions like ‘So what’s this all mean, when considered together?’.

So we’re going to do a bit more head scratching (and maybe a bit more number crunching) before wrapping it all together with a ribbon as your Energy-Sector Christmas Reading.

 

(C)  Stay tuned for more

So stay tuned here for more!

The upside of the delay for readers here is that this gives you a few more days grace to submit your pre-orders to access GenInsights21 (when it is released) at the special (i.e. lower) pre-order price.

Our thanks to the growing number of clients who have already submitted their pre-orders, and our thanks to them for the patience they are showing for waiting a bit longer to access their copy of this compendium of energy-sector insights for 2021.

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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