Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 5th August 2017

Posted on Sat 08/05/2017 by


By Anton Lang ~

This is the continuing Post, where each Saturday, I will detail the power consumption for the Base Load in Australia for the previous week. This will show what is actually meant by the term Base Load, and that is the minimum daily power consumption at its lowest point. Power consumption never falls below this point.

Here in Australia, that level of power is 18,000MW.

The Bayswater Coal Fired Power Plant In New South Wales

This data I have collated below is for this last week, and is for the five States connected to the Australian grids, every State east of the Western Australian border, and here I will show that data for each of those five States, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

As you can see from these numbers, that huge amount of power is being supplied mainly by coal fired power, and on most days that coal fired power provides 80% or more of that level of power, at that time, when power consumption is at its lowest level, that total of 18,000MW.

All of this data is taken at a single point in time, and that is at 4AM of every day, when nearly all of us are sound asleep.

For the Introduction and background for this Base Load, refer back to the original Post at this link.

This is the permanent link to all the Posts with the data from each week.

For the purposes of this data, the sources are as follows.

Total Power consumption for each State

Fossil Fuel totals and Coal Fired power totals

Hydro Power totals

Wind Power totals

All these totals are from 4AM on each day, the time of minimum power consumption.

There are no coal fired power plants in South Australia or in Tasmania.


Sunday 30th July 2017

New South Wales – 6450MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

Queensland – 5030MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3630MW (Coal Fired Power – 3800MW)

South Australia – 970MW

Tasmania – 1000MW

Total – 17080MW

Fossil Fuel – 14500MW (Total coal fired power – 14100MW  – 82.6% of the overall total of 17080MW)

Hydro – 600MW

Wind – 2400MW (14% of the total)

Renewable power – 17.5% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25030MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18300MW

Monday 31st July 2017

New South Wales – 6410MW (Coal Fired Power – 5100MW)

Queensland – 5120MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Victoria – 4140MW (Coal Fired Power – 4000MW)

South Australia – 1090MW

Tasmania – 1090MW

Total – 17850MW

Fossil Fuel – 16500MW (Total coal fired power – 15000MW  – 84% of the overall total of 17850MW)

Hydro – 750MW

Wind – 750MW (4.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 8.4% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28680MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18800MW

Tuesday 1st August 2017

New South Wales – 7060MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Queensland – 5190MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Victoria – 4490MW (Coal Fired Power – 3900MW)

South Australia – 1300MW

Tasmania – 1100MW

Total – 19140MW

Fossil Fuel – 18000MW (Total coal fired power – 15500MW  – 81% of the overall total of 19140MW)

Hydro – 1400MW

Wind – 80MW (0.4% of the total)

Renewable power – 7.7% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28640MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18800MW

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

New South Wales – 7190MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Queensland – 5190MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Victoria – 4390MW (Coal Fired Power – 3900MW)

South Australia – 1220MW

Tasmania – 1030MW

Total – 19020MW

Fossil Fuel – 17200MW (Total coal fired power – 15700MW  – 82.6% of the overall total of 19020MW)

Hydro – 1000MW

Wind – 900MW (4.7% of the total)

Renewable power – 10% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28810MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19300MW

Thursday 3rd August 2017

New South Wales – 7000MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Queensland – 5100MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

Victoria – 4490MW (Coal Fired Power – 4600MW)

South Australia – 1200MW

Tasmania – 1160MW

Total – 18950MW

Fossil Fuel – 17200MW (Total coal fired power – 16200MW  – 85.5% of the overall total of 18950MW)

Hydro – 1300MW

Wind – 800MW (4.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 11.1% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 29540MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19800MW

Friday 4th August 2017

New South Wales – 6780MW (Coal Fired Power – 5000MW)

Queensland – 5110MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Victoria – 4520MW (Coal Fired Power – 4300MW)

South Australia – 1180MW

Tasmania – 1060MW

Total – 18650MW

Fossil Fuel – 16400MW (Total coal fired power – 15100MW  – 81% of the overall total of 18650MW)

Hydro – 1200MW

Wind – 1200MW (6.4% of the total)

Renewable power – 12.8% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 27740MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19900MW

Saturday 5th August 2017

New South Wales – 7060MW (Coal Fired Power – 5000MW)

Queensland – 5000MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 4030MW (Coal Fired Power – 4800MW)

South Australia – 1070MW

Tasmania – 1030MW

Total – 18190MW

Fossil Fuel – 16000MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 84.1% of the overall total of 18190MW)

Hydro – 700MW

Wind – 2700MW (14.8% of the total)

Renewable power – 18.7% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25200MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18400MW


This Week’s Average For Base Load – 18411MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15271MW – 82.9%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 18498MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15043MW – 81.3%


Comments For This Last Week

I mentioned last week that I’m still seeing something new with each week, and that still applies.

Note again that the only time that the Base Load was lower than 18000MW by any appreciable amount was on that Sunday morning, when a lot of businesses which operate on any extended basis were closed, and something else I mentioned last week, you can pick the mornings which are colder than the usual, as power consumption even at that early time is higher than the average.

One thing I have noticed is with the State of Queensland, and look at the figures for that State on every day. With the other two States which have coal fired power, New South Wales and Victoria, their total coal fired power generation is always a large amount lower than the Base Load for that State, but in Queensland, that coal fired contribution to the total is always higher than the Base Load figure quoted. I also mentioned last week that power is shared between the States, and that applies most to Queensland. Virtually all day, every day, Queensland is supplying power into Northern new South Wales to augment the high demand in that State. That is most evident when you view the power distribution data shown at this link, and here you need to look at those square boxes in the middle of the page which detail each State. Inside each box is the name of the State, the current wholesale cost for the power being generated shown in dollars per MWH. Directly under that is the total demand. (how much power is being consumed in that State) Under that is the total power being generated from every source, and under that is the total being generated by wind power.

Now look at those arrows between the States. Those arrows indicate the Interconnectors between each of the States, and Queensland and South Australia have two of those each. In the case of Queensland, those arrows only show power flowing from Queensland to New South Wales. Inside those arrows, the numbers on the right show the maximum power that can flow through those Interconnectors from Queensland to NSW, the top number shown as a Minus, so, from Queensland to NSW, and the lower number in the reverse direction, from NSW to Queensland, and the large number indicates the amount of power flowing at the current time. Over the time I have been watching, it has only ever flowed the one way, from Queensland to NSW, and when the arrow is red in colour, that indicates that the maximum amount of power is being sent through that Interconnector. The data is updated every few seconds or so.

From that, I then was curious as to who actually owns those coal fired power plants in Queensland. As I showed in the Introductory post (at this link) Queensland has eight coal fired power plants. Four of those are the most modern technology in Australia, SuperCritical plants, only one technology level lower than the highest technology level UltraSuperCritical. Of those eight plants, only two of them are held in private ownership, the Milmerran plant and the Gladstone plant, and one is partly private owned. The other six plants are all owned by two Corporations, CS Energy, and Stanwell Corporation. Both of those corporations are owned by the State Government, and in total that comes in at around 70% of the total Nameplate for coal fired plants in the State.

In June of last year, the State of Queensland stated that they will be moving to a situation where 50% of the State’s power will be generated from Renewable Power. At that time, I made a Post here at this site (shown at this link) where I very carefully explained that this was not only not going to happen, but was a virtual impossibility. At the time, I even made a detailed submission to the Panel which was set up to implement the proposal, and the link to that submission is shown at that link.

One of the main points to come out of this panel proposal was that NO coal fired power plants would be closed in the State by that time 2030. That puzzled me, that this State set up body could make that finding, and now I know why. The State owns around 70% of the coal fired power generation in the State, so if they were to close any coal fired power plants, they would be effectively cutting their own throat, and missing out on what is a huge source of income for the State. Also, if you look again at that earlier link I gave indicating the power sharing arrangements, you’ll see that Queensland has ZERO wind power. So not only are they not going to close any coal fired power plants, they then hope to have 50% renewable power by 2030, only eight years from now, and starting from a base of ZERO renewables.

Another thing I have noticed is that contrary to what we are being told, coal fired power actually IS the cheapest source of power generation, and again, that is shown by the actual data. See above, where I mentioned that even at that 4AM point in time, the State of Queensland consistently generates more coal fired power than the total demand, and the data shows that at that time, between 93 and 96% of all power being generated in Queensland is coal fired power, then that would be a good indicator as to the cost of that power at the wholesale price being sold to the power delivery retailers. That cost is the cheapest in Australia and is regularly around $45/MWH. Queensland has the only high tech SuperCritical plants in the Country, and they are still the cheapest power generation in the Country.

As with last week, there were a number of Units at plants in those three States which were offline for maintenance purposes, and it seems that the turnaround time is fairly short for that, indicating again that if any other source of power generation was cheaper, then they could stay off line for a longer time.

Another thing worth pointing out is that Wind power was lower than 6% on five days, and on one of those days was only generating 0.4% of the absolute power requirement. On the remaining two days, wind power was up around 14% of that Base Load requirement. However, look again at the data, and you’ll see that on each day, no matter how much or how little wind power there was, coal fired power generated around what it always has generated, near the same amount each day.

If coal fired power was, as we are told, more expensive than other sources of power generation, it stands to reason that they would be using less of it, and here we find that at 4AM, when 80% Plus of every watt of power being generated is sourced from coal fired power, that power is at its cheapest.

And seriously, when you have a renewable supply as variable as wind power, down as low as 0.4%, it doesn’t really matter if that wind power is cheap. (which it isn’t) Who cares! It patently CANNOT deliver the amounts of power that are required absolutely, for the full 24 hours of every day.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.