*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 86 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

The National Electricity Market

 

All states except Western Australia and the Northern Territory are connected to the eastern grid and electricity can flow forwards and backwards across state boundaries according to demand and supply.  This pool of suppliers, thus created, forms the National Electricity Market (NEM).  This functions as a central dispatch system and is managed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The NEM is a wholesale market through which generators and retailers trade electricity. There are six participating jurisdictions (five states and the ACT) linked by transmission network inter-connectors.

The electricity price in this market place is governed by demand and supply within wide limits.

Based on the generator’s offers to supply and the prevailing demand AEMO’s systems determine the generators required to produce electricity based on the principle of meeting the retailers’ demand in the most cost-efficient way. AEMO then dispatches these generators into production.

The dispatch price between the market and generators is struck every five minutes and averaged to the NEM spot price every half hour for each of five generation regions. This price fluctuates very substantially according to season and time of day with additional variability due to sun, wind, or rain and even what’s on TV.

The Australian Energy Regulator monitors the market to ensure that participants comply with the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Rules.  These rules set a maximum spot price of $12,500 per MWh.  The prevailing weekly spot price can be seen on the AEMO website.   At the time of writing this is averaging $66.52/MWh in NSW post carbon tax.  But this week there were fluctuations as low as $41 and as high as $290.

 

 

Electricity consumption

The industry often tells us about new initiatives in terms of how many households they can support.  But households consume less than a quarter of the electricity delivered in Australia.  Most of the increase in the cost of electricity is borne by industry and commerce.  In due course this cost ends up in our wallets in other ways.

  

Electricity consumption by sector 2009
  Final
Consumption
(GWh)
Residential Commercial
and Public
Services
Industry Transport Agriculture
Forestry & Other
Per Capita Consumption (MWh pa)
Australia                     213,773 22.7% 21.4% 36.0% 1.1% 0.7% 9.43
United   States                   3,642,203 32.3% 31.3% 18.9% 0.2% 3.5% 11.60
Germany                      495,573 24.0% 22.4% 34.8% 2.7% 1.5% 6.05
France                      423,440 33.0% 23.2% 22.4% 2.4% 1.0% 6.48
United   Kingdom                      322,417 32.4% 23.6% 25.9% 2.3% 1.0% 5.18
Spain                      255,368 24.3% 27.9% 33.0% 1.1% 3.0% 5.53
Sweden                      123,374 29.0% 18.9% 36.4% 1.7% 1.3% 12.99
Switzerland                        57,483 27.0% 26.1% 27.5% 4.6% 1.5% 7.23

 Source: IEA - International Energy Agency

Notes:  

  • Since 2009 several Australian aluminium smelters have closed or reduced production.  The proportion or electricity consumed by industry will be less than it was then.
  • Final Consumption is electricity delivered to the home market after imports and exports, losses and the electricity industry's own use have been deducted.
    Australian losses are amongst the highest in the world due to our long transmission distances and our use of pump-storage for load smoothing.

 

 

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Hong Kong and Shenzhen China

 

 

 

 

 

Following our Japan trip in May 2017 we all returned to Hong Kong, after which Craig and Sonia headed home and Wendy and I headed to Shenzhen in China. 

I have mentioned both these locations as a result of previous travels.  They form what is effectively a single conurbation divided by the Hong Kong/Mainland border and this line also divides the population economically and in terms of population density.

These days there is a great deal of two way traffic between the two.  It's very easy if one has the appropriate passes; and just a little less so for foreign tourists like us.  Australians don't need a visa to Hong Kong but do need one to go into China unless flying through and stopping at certain locations for less than 72 hours.  Getting a visa requires a visit to the Chinese consulate at home or sitting around in a reception room on the Hong Kong side of the border, for about an hour in a ticket-queue, waiting for a (less expensive) temporary visa to be issued.

With documents in hand it's no more difficult than walking from one metro platform to the next, a five minute walk, interrupted in this case by queues at the immigration desks.  Both metros are world class and very similar, with the metro on the Chinese side a little more modern. It's also considerably less expensive. From here you can also take a very fast train to Guangzhou (see our recent visit there on this website) and from there to other major cities in China. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Julian Assange’s Endgame

A facebook friend has sent me this link 'Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago' (by Andy Greenberg, that appeared in WIRED in Oct 2016) and I couldn't resist bringing it to your attention.

To read it click on this image from the article:

 
Image (cropped): MARK CHEW/FAIRFAX MEDIA/GETTY IMAGES

 

Assange is an Australian who has already featured in several articles on this website:

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Carbon Capture and Storage

(Carbon Sequestration)

 

 

 


Carbon Sequestration Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

At the present state of technological development in NSW we have few (perhaps no) alternatives to burning coal.  But there is a fundamental issue with the proposed underground sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a means of reducing the impact of coal burning on the atmosphere. This is the same issue that plagues the whole current energy debate.  It is the issue of scale. 

Disposal of liquid CO2: underground; below the seabed; in depleted oil or gas reservoirs; or in deep saline aquifers is technically possible and is already practiced in some oil fields to improve oil extraction.  But the scale required for meaningful sequestration of coal sourced carbon dioxide is an enormous engineering and environmental challenge of quite a different magnitude. 

It is one thing to land a man on the Moon; it is another to relocate the Great Pyramid (of Cheops) there.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright