New lowest point for NEM-wide demand also set on Sunday 1st October 2023

Yesterday (Sunday 1st October 2023) saw new low-points for demand in two locations:

1)  We noted first the new lowest point for the QLD region, and

2)  Later that day we noted the new lowest point for the SA region as well (negative Market Demand and barely-above-zero Operational Demand).


Also happening yesterday was a new lowest point for NEM-wide demand, as illustrated in this trended NEMreview chart looking back 30 days, showing the sequence of how the lowest point has dropped by the two most frequently used measures of demand:


With respect to these measures:

1)  Looking firstly at ‘Market Demand’*, we see that the lowest point yesterday (10,500MW at the 11:35 dispatch interval NEM time) was lower than the previous low point set on Saturday 16th September 2023.

* ‘Market Demand’ is the name we give to the AEMO data field ‘TotalDemand’:

(a)  which really isn’t total demand (as the layperson would understand it) but is the input into the NEMDE dispatch and pricing engine, so is used to determine the dispatch of the market and hence the spot price that is central in the dispatch process. 

(b)  Many market participants still refer to this number primarily, as it has the most direct bearing on their commercial outcomes.

2)  Looking firstly at ‘Operational Demand’**, we see that the lowest point yesterday (11,224MW for the half-hour ending 12:00 NEM time), which was lower than the previous low point set exactly 2 weeks earlier on Sunday 17th September 2023 (noting that this was a little lower than seen on Saturday 16th September 2023, by this measure).

** AEMO increasingly refers to ‘Operational Demand’ (which might be thought of as ‘Grid Demand’) as it’s the sum total of the real time rate of consumption (remembering a MW is a measure of rate) that they can see in real time, and hence have the possibility of more control over when fulfilling their ‘keeping the lights on’ responsibilities.


It’s possible we’ll see these low points inch lower still before we hit the demand-inducing peaks of summer 2023-24.



PS1 confirmation from the AEMO

Monday afternoon, the AEMO confirmed the above – via this Tweet update here:


… and I assume more will come soon also, via LinkedIn here.

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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