Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 6th January 2018

Posted on Sun 01/07/2018 by

9


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 31st January 2017

New South Wales – 6020MW (Coal Fired Power – 5000MW)

Queensland – 5730MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3690MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1100MW

Tasmania – 1000MW

Total – 17540MW

Fossil Fuel – 16500MW (Total coal fired power – 15200MW  – 86.7% of the overall total of 17540MW)

Hydro – 300MW

Wind – 400MW (2.3% of the total)

Renewable power – 4% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 22330MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18500MW (82.8%)

Monday 1st January 2018

New South Wales – 6110MW (Coal Fired Power – 5000MW)

Queensland – 5610MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Victoria – 3590MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1060MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 17360MW

Fossil Fuel – 16500MW (Total coal fired power – 15500MW  – 89.3% of the overall total of 17360MW)

Hydro – 300MW

Wind – 600MW (3.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 5.2% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 23990MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19500MW (81.3%)

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

New South Wales – 6220MW (Coal Fired Power – 5200MW)

Queensland – 5620MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3780MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1050MW

Tasmania – 1030MW

Total – 17700MW

Fossil Fuel – 16600MW (Total coal fired power – 15400MW  – 87% of the overall total of 17700MW)

Hydro – 350MW

Wind – 650MW (3.7% of the total)

Renewable power – 5.6% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24690MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18900MW (76.5%)

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

New South Wales – 6250MW (Coal Fired Power – 4800MW)

Queensland – 5620MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3830MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1100MW

Tasmania – 1050MW

Total – 17850MW

Fossil Fuel – 16200MW (Total coal fired power – 15000MW  – 84% of the overall total of 17850MW)

Hydro – 350MW

Wind – 900MW (5% of the total)

Renewable power – 7% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 23480MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18900MW (80.5%)

Thursday 4th January 2018

New South Wales – 6220MW (Coal Fired Power – 5100MW)

Queensland – 5650MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3960MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1140MW

Tasmania – 1050MW

Total – 18020MW

Fossil Fuel – 17000MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 84.9% of the overall total of 18020MW)

Hydro – 350MW

Wind – 750MW (4.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 6.1% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24740MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19800MW (80%)

Friday 5th January 2018

New South Wales – 6410MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Queensland – 5650MW (Coal Fired Power – 5300MW)

Victoria – 4090MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1140MW

Tasmania – 1070MW

Total – 18360MW

Fossil Fuel – 17000MW (Total coal fired power – 15600MW  – 85% of the overall total of 18360MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 650MW (3.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 6.3% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 27430MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20100MW (73.3%)

Saturday 6th January 2018

New South Wales – 6210MW (Coal Fired Power – 4900MW)

Queensland – 5780MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3920MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1190MW

Tasmania – 980MW

Total – 18080MW

Fossil Fuel – 16000MW (Total coal fired power – 14900MW  – 82.4% of the overall total of 18080MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 2200MW (12.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 14.4% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 29280MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20100MW (68.6%)

*****

This Week’s Average For Base Load – 17845MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15272MW – 85.6%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 17916MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14378MW – 80.3%

*****

Comments For This Last Week

The Base Load for this week is again close to that figure of 18000MW, and the running average for what is now 27 weeks is almost back at that level as well. However, what is evident from this week’s data is that coal fired power is again supplying the vast bulk of that total, with the average for the week at more than 85%, and the running weekly average now back above 80%. With Summer now with us, most power plants have all their Units in operation. Of those 49 Units at the 16 Power plants spread across 3 States, there were only three Units off line for most of this week, with on just two occasions four of them off line, and two of those Units were at the now quite ancient Liddell plant, now the oldest coal fired power plant in Australia.

As this Series of Posts mainly deals with the power data for that one point in time at 4AM, the time of least power consumption. I haven’t been giving detailed data for what the situation is at Peak Power times, other than just that one line per day detailing the total and the coal fired total. However, what I did do during this week was to go back over that data for each of the days over the last 27 weeks I have been doing this just to see what those percentages were like in comparison with what they are at that 4AM time.

What I did find was that coal fired power ramped up to again take up the bulk of consumption at Peak Power, and in fact that percentage for coal fired power versus the total Peak Power generation was 72.2% of the total, and that is around 19000MW of supply just from coal fired power, so while the average at 4AM is 14,400MW, you can see it ramps up considerably to that total of around 19000MW at Peak Power time.

So, we have 80% at the 4AM time, and around 72% at Peak power time. It’s hard to work out an average for the whole day, but again that looks to be around a figure of 76%. While this is just a case of my working it out, is there anything to actually back that up? I went looking for the most recent data from the Australian Regulator and found this chart there, the image of which is that below, and this is from the end of the recording year for 2016.

As you can see from the legend under that image (which will open in a new and larger page if you click on the image) those two colours at the bottom show the amounts for Black Coal, (dark brown) and Brown Coal. (blue) As you can see the power delivered (Terrawatt hours, the left side vertical axis) from both coal fired sources has risen, and while the percentages are probably not easily seen from the image, the text added to explain this image showed that when both figures were added together for black coal and brown coal, the total power delivered from coal fired sources is 76% and has risen in recent years, and as the data I have is on a week by week basis, tot this current date, then the data I have bears out that since this image was generated for that report, it is still basically the same, 76%.

And then, look also at that green colour there, and that is for gas fired power, and as you can see, that actually has decreased, and the text puts gas fired power at 7% of the total power being generated. So, when you add together coal fired and gas fired, 83% of all power being generated in Australia is coming from sources which emit Carbon Dioxide, (CO2) so, no matter what anyone says, when really huge amounts of power are required, then the traditional sources are the only ones which actually can deliver those amounts of power.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Versus Coal Fired Power

I was reminded again this week of an article from a couple of Months back about a proposal for a Commercial scale Solar power plant in South Australia. The article in question (shown at this link) tells of the proposal for a CSP plant in that State, and it utilises the Power Tower technique, and it will have heat diversion which will enable some levels of power to be delivered after the Sun goes down, and over the now ten years I have contributing articles at this site, I have often detailed these methods of power generation.

There are a couple of important things about the article linked to, so here. I’ll just use the figures they quote ….. from that article.

Firstly, this has a Nameplate of 150MW, and for it to actually operate, they derate that to 135MW, so an actual total output of only 135MW at best.

Next, they quote a yearly power generation total of 495GWH, and that’s not using any of the generated power during the heating cycle during the day, but maximising the heat storage capability and then delivering the power after hours. (to capitalise on the time when power is at its most costly, making this ….. seem like cheap power) In utilising that EIGHT hours of heat storage, they say they can deliver around 1100MWH in total, or a tick over eight hours at 135MW maximum. (Nameplate) That effectively gives this plant a ‘quoted’ Capacity Factor of just under the 42% mark.

Okay, that’s the claims out of the way.

There are currently ….. NO plants of this Nameplate size on Planet Earth which can deliver 135MW from heat storage for eight hours, in fact none which even claim to have eight hours of storage at maximum generation. There are no plants of this size which can deliver 495GWH of power per year, in any manner, with or without heat storage or any mix of both. There are no plants on Earth of this size which can claim a Capacity factor of 42%.

The Treasurer of that State, Tom Koutsantonis, who is also the Minister For Energy, actually said this:

A shiver has just gone up the coal generation industry’s spine.

Really!

Okay then let’s use their own figures.

The claim to be able to generate 495GWH per year from a Nameplate of 135MW, and the total cost for this power plant will be $650Million.

I often us the Bayswater power plant as a reference when it comes to coal fired power, and that plant generates and delivers a total yearly power of 17,000GWH per year, and that’s from a Nameplate of 2640MW.

So, using this CSP power plant as the example, then just to replace Bayswater, (not with Nameplate, but the ACTUAL power delivered) that means we need 35 of them, (rounded up to a full number) so that cost now comes in at …..

$22.75 BILLION.

Bayswater currently runs at a CF of around 74%, and that includes ramping up and down during Peak/Non Peak and down time for maintenance, because as recently as, well, right now actually, the current power delivery from Bayswater is :

Unit 1 – 626MW
Unit 2 – 665MW
Unit 3 – 665MW
Unit 4 – 657MW

That’s a total of 2613MW. So, that’s 99% of original design capability from a 32 year old power plant, already seven years older than the (hoped for) maximum life span of any renewable power plant, even one of this nature, a CSP solar plant which might be able to deliver 135MW at best.

Please don’t ever even attempt to tell me a new technology coal fired power plant, a HELE USC plant of similar Nameplate to Bayswater would cost anywhere even within binocular vision of that total I mentioned above of $22.75 Billion.

So, contrary to having a shiver running up my spine, the only back damage I might do is if I hit my back on something as I was rolling around the floor in paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter.

Again, both of these things I mention above highlight that when it comes to coal fired power, there just is no substitute.

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.

OzBaseLoadTFO

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