Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 13th January 2018

Posted on Sun 01/14/2018 by

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By Anton Lang ~

Week 28

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 7th January 2018

New South Wales – 6400MW (Coal Fired Power – 5200MW)

Queensland – 5440MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3990MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1070MW

Tasmania – 1040MW

Total – 17940MW

Fossil Fuel – 16400MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 85.3% of the overall total of 17940MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1400MW (7.8% of the total)

Renewable power – 10% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 27740MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20200MW (72.8%)

Monday 8th January 2018

New South Wales – 7110MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

Queensland – 5530MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 4110MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1130MW

Tasmania – 1080MW

Total – 18960MW

Fossil Fuel – 17500MW (Total coal fired power – 16100MW  – 84.9% of the overall total of 18960MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 1000MW (5.3% of the total)

Renewable power – 7.9% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28890MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19900MW (68.9%)

Tuesday 9th January 2018

New South Wales – 7110MW (Coal Fired Power – 6300MW)

Queensland – 5630MW (Coal Fired Power – 5400MW)

Victoria – 4070MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1080MW

Tasmania – 1080MW

Total – 18970MW

Fossil Fuel – 17500MW (Total coal fired power – 16200MW  – 85.4% of the overall total of 18970MW)

Hydro – 450MW

Wind – 1200MW (6.3% of the total)

Renewable power – 8.7% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26750MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20500MW (76.6%)

Wednesday 10th January 2018

New South Wales – 6730MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Queensland – 5690MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 4040MW (Coal Fired Power – 4200MW)

South Australia – 1080MW

Tasmania – 1050MW

Total – 18590MW

Fossil Fuel – 16600MW (Total coal fired power – 15200MW  – 81.8% of the overall total of 18590MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 1500MW (8.1% of the total)

Renewable power – 10.8% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25710MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19900MW (77.4%)

Thursday 11th January 2018

New South Wales – 6540MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Queensland – 5960MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 4260MW (Coal Fired Power – 4300MW)

South Australia – 1180MW

Tasmania – 1010MW

Total – 18950MW

Fossil Fuel – 17000MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 80.7% of the overall total of 18950MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1300MW (6.9% of the total)

Renewable power – 9% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28760MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19500MW (67.8%)

Friday 12th January 2018

New South Wales – 6820MW (Coal Fired Power – 6400MW)

Queensland – 6020MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 4510MW (Coal Fired Power – 4100MW)

South Australia – 1160MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 19500MW

Fossil Fuel – 17500MW (Total coal fired power – 16000MW  – 82.1% of the overall total of 19500MW)

Hydro – 800MW

Wind – 1600MW (8.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 12.3% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 29060MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19500MW (67.1%)

Saturday 13th January 2018

New South Wales – 6880MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Queensland – 6020MW (Coal Fired Power – 5200MW)

Victoria – 3880MW (Coal Fired Power – 3800MW)

South Australia – 950MW

Tasmania – 970MW

Total – 18700MW

Fossil Fuel – 16200MW (Total coal fired power – 14900MW  – 79.7% of the overall total of 18700MW)

Hydro – 700MW

Wind – 2000MW (10.7% of the total)

Renewable power – 14.4% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24670MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18600MW (75.4%)

*****

This Week’s Average For Base Load – 18802MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15572MW – 82.8%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 17948MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14421MW – 80.3%

*****

This Week’s Average For Peak Load – 27369MW

This Week’s Average For Peak Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 19729MW – 72.1%

*****

Comments For This Last Week

As you can see from the lines immediately above this, I have now added the totals for the Peak Load as well.

While this Series is mostly about the Minimum power requirement for that point in time when power consumption is at its lowest, Peak Power is also an important factor in the overall consumption of power. Each week from now, I will add that data for the Peak Power Weekly average, and its coal fired component as a point of interest, but the main focus is still on that minimum power requirement. Last week, I mentioned that as an exercise, I went back over all my data, and I did do the averages for Peak Power, and what I did find was that the average power delivered from coal fired power was 72.2%, so this week’s data is right on that average. The figures for every day of what is now 28 weeks ranged from a low of 69.2% per week to a high of 75.3% per week from coal fired power, placing that average right in the middle of those figures. The overall total daily power delivered from coal fired sources would be an extremely difficult task to carry out, so for that, I went on the Government’s own data, which quoted the average for the most recent full 12 Monthly data at 76% of all power consumed on a year round basis in Australia coming from coal fired sources.  That would extrapolate down to a daily basis as being similar, with some days more, and some less.

As you can see from this week’s Base Load data, that Base Load at the 4AM point in time was closer to 19000MW than it was to the average of 18000MW, and that brings the running average back closer to that 18000MW, and it might only be two weeks before it is back at that 18000MW mark, and it will continue to rise slowly for the remaining six or more weeks of Summer.

The wind power average for the week at that same point in time was 7.6% of the power, and even that is unacceptable, barely averaging 1400MW out of a total of 18800MW. There were two times during the week when wind power was really humming along at Peak Power time, generating 2600MW at a Capacity Factor of almost 60%, and that’s double the year round average of 30%. Even then, that still only came in at under 10% of the power being consumed at that time, and unlike coal fired power which delivers power constantly, that high generation from wind power was just at one point in time, and then, having risen to that total, fell away again, which is the whole point I have always made when it comes to wind power, the fact that it is intermittent and cannot be relied upon to deliver constant power all the time.

This week, there was also an announcement from the Federal Minister for Energy, Josh Frydenberg about the introduction of electric vehicles across Australia. (shown at this link) He mentioned that it would lead to an increase in power consumption, naturally, and the total would come in at around 5.2TeraWattHours (TWH) of power each year. While this is not an instantaneous thing, but spread across the coming years in the short term, it seems a little incongruous to me that in times when all the talk of reducing power consumption, here we are talking about increasing power consumption, but it seems that this is all right because it is for a potentially ‘green’ outcome. That overall total of 5.2TWH comes in at around 2.6% of total yearly power consumption. The Minister also mentioned that the grid could handle that even now, but he did accentuate the fact that nearly all the recharging of those batteries would need to be done overnight when power consumption is traditionally at its lowest. And in fact, that is quite true that the grid could feasibly handle that right now. That 5.2TWH consumption per year equates to a permanent generating total of 600MW, so the grid can handle that even now. However, because they want this charging process to be done on an overnight basis when consumption is at its lowest, which means from around Midnight through to around 7 or 8AM, then what that effectively does is to actually INCREASE the Base Load. Now, not everyone will be charging their batteries at the same time, keeping in mind that the 5.2TWH total per year  stays the same, then it could effectively lead to an increase in Base Load to possibly 19000MW. So, at a time when coal fired power is already supplying the bulk of power (80% plus) here we are talking about increasing that. At the same time, they are still talking about closing coal fired plants, and in the same time frame of increasing power consumption for electric vehicles, there are plans are in place to close the old Liddell power plants, taking a potential 2000MW out of the system. If both things do happen, then that places further strain on what is already an aging coal fired power fleet of only 15 power plants with 45 Units in only three States.

I am getting the distinct impression that the average person has no real comprehension at all as to where their electrical power is coming from. The fact that 18000MW is being consumed while nearly everyone is still sound asleep is something that very few people at all are actually aware of, and if that wasn’t enough to shock them, then the fact that 80% of that power is coming from coal fired power would startle them, but while there is only ever talk about renewable power, especially wind power, and the only thing coal fired power should be doing is closing down, then when word does finally get out of those two facts alone, I feel sure there will be a pretty big backlash.

It only serves to accentuate what I have been saying for these last 28 weeks now with this Series, the fact that there really is no substitute for coal fired power.

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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