Today (Fri 31 January 2020) saw NEM-wide demand reach levels never seen before (excepting 29th January 2009). This was just the start of the white knuckle ride.
record NEM-wide demand
Further analysis of the way that electricity demand patterns (NEM-wide) are changing in Australia’s National Electricity Market
Summer 2008-09 is now well behind us, and there are a number of official reviews underway that will report back at some stage. Even so, we’ve been continuing to ponder…
We noted yesterday, in the midst of the excitement, that the previous NEM-wide demand record had been beaten, by virtue of the heatwave assaulting VIC and SA over the day. We spoke too soon, however, as demand continued to climb through the afternoon.
Wednesday 28th January saw demand across the NEM jump to unprecedented levels, setting a new record of 34,843MW at 16:00 NEM time. On Thursday 29th January, we saw the demand increase still further, leading to prices that stayed high for much of the day (to the point where the Cumulative Price Threshold was reached in VIC and SA and price caps were imposed), and a relatively small amount of involuntary load shedding occurring in VIC and SA.
The day is not over yet, but we thought you would be interested in the attached snapshot highlighting the first of the occasions on the day when prices jumped to VOLL in SA and VIC as a result of searing temperatures stopping the tennis, and melting VIC and SA into new demand records for each region.
We watched with interest today as demand crept up in all mainland regions to the point where the NEM-Wide demand rose slightly above 33,000MW for the first time ever, during a summer period.
Based on forecasts NEMMCO had been providing through their PASA process, we expected that it might prove that this week would deliver huge demand levels, and high prices.
Not to disappoint, the market did deliver high levels of demand in all regions:
(a) Peak demand levels were reduced somewhat from the huge levels the previous week in Victoria and South Australia;
(b) Demand levels were also still building to the record level to be experienced the following week in NSW;
(c) Peak demand levels in Queensland were fairly steady (and high) for most weeks of summer.
(d) In combination, a new NEM-wide peak demand target of 30,994MW was set on Monday 23rd January.