Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 17th February 2018

Posted on Sun 02/18/2018 by

3


By Anton Lang ~

Week 33

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. (See data for the Running Weekly Average For Base Load below)

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 11th February 2018

New South Wales – 6570MW (Coal Fired Power – 4800MW)

Queensland – 5480MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Victoria – 3670MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1130MW

Tasmania – 950MW

Total – 17800MW

Fossil Fuel – 16400MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 86% of the overall total of 17800MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1500MW (8.4% of the total)

Renewable power – 10.7% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24320MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19600MW (80.6%)

Monday 12th February 2018

New South Wales – 6790MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

Queensland – 5560MW (Coal Fired Power – 5700MW)

Victoria – 3910MW (Coal Fired Power – 3000MW)

South Australia – 1170MW

Tasmania – 1010MW

Total – 18440MW

Fossil Fuel – 17000MW (Total coal fired power – 14700MW  – 79.7% of the overall total of 18440MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 800MW (4.3% of the total)

Renewable power – 7% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28120MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20200MW (71.8%)

Tuesday 13th February 2018

New South Wales – 7130MW (Coal Fired Power – 6300MW)

Queensland – 6270MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Victoria – 4170MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1230MW

Tasmania – 1070MW

Total – 19870MW

Fossil Fuel – 18600MW (Total coal fired power – 16900MW  – 85.1% of the overall total of 19870MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 400MW (2% of the total)

Renewable power – 4.5% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 29460MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20400MW (69.2%)

Wednesday 14th February 2018

New South Wales – 7180MW (Coal Fired Power – 5300MW)

Queensland – 5870MW (Coal Fired Power – 5700MW)

Victoria – 4140MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1120MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 19300MW

Fossil Fuel – 16500MW (Total coal fired power – 15700MW  – 81.3% of the overall total of 19300MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 2400MW (12.4% of the total)

Renewable power – 15% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 30210MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20600MW (68.2%)

Thursday 15th February 2018

New South Wales – 7250MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

Queensland – 6400MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

Victoria – 4110MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1210MW

Tasmania – 980MW

Total – 19950MW

Fossil Fuel – 18600MW (Total coal fired power – 16700MW  – 83.7% of the overall total of 19950MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1000MW (5% of the total)

Renewable power – 7% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 28530MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20300MW (71.2%)

Friday 16th February 2018

New South Wales – 7050MW (Coal Fired Power – 6500MW)

Queensland – 6270MW (Coal Fired Power – 5900MW)

Victoria – 4170MW (Coal Fired Power – 4200MW)

South Australia – 1170MW

Tasmania – 950MW

Total – 19610MW

Fossil Fuel – 18200MW (Total coal fired power – 16600MW  – 84.7% of the overall total of 19610MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1000MW (5.1% of the total)

Renewable power – 7.1% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26940MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20200MW (75%)

Saturday 17th February 2018

New South Wales – 6480MW (Coal Fired Power – 5800MW)

Queensland – 5730MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3880MW (Coal Fired Power – 4200MW)

South Australia – 1160MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 18240MW

Fossil Fuel – 17000MW (Total coal fired power – 15600MW  – 85.5% of the overall total of 18240MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 900MW (4.9% of the total)

Renewable power – 7.1% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24710MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18400MW (74.5%)

*****

This Week’s Average For Base Load – 19030MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15929MW – 83.7%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 18076MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14602MW – 80.8%

*****

This Week’s Average For Peak Load – 27470MW

This Week’s Average For Peak Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 19958MW – 72.7%

*****

Comments For This Last Week

A Comment On Renewable Power

When I started doing this almost eight Months back now, I sort of had the impression that it could end up being a comparison between this traditional form of power generation (coal fired power) and the two main forms of renewable power. (wind power and solar power)

What I have found is that there just is no comparison. Having being working at this now for ten years, I knew that all along, but constantly looking at the data every day in this in depth manner has only confirmed it, and confirmed it solidly.

When you have an absolute requirement for a minimum of 18000MW, and wind power can barely manage 5% of that on average, and it’s not even constant at that level, varying by sometimes large amounts on an hour by hour basis, it just cannot be relied upon to supply even the tiniest part of that requirement. That’s just wind power, because at that AM time of minimum consumption, there is no solar power, ZERO. There has been times during the day when wind power has supplied around 3200MW, and that’s a huge amount. Even then, that is still only 13% or so of what is actually being consumed, and even then, that’s not a constant total of 3200MW, but is just a total at one point in time, because it could drop away from that high at any time, and drop away markedly. What I have noticed is that coal fired power does not change at all from the amount of power it delivers whether wind power is high or low. It just goes along at the same amount it always does. That also tells me something important as well, and that is that the Regulator is not looking to wind power as a major supplier. If it’s there, then good, but if it’s low, than they always have enough to cover all the consumption from those sources which can be relied upon.

Solar power is a little different. It adds very little, in fact almost nothing to the actual generation of power, because again, it is such a tiny generation amount. However, what I have found is that there is something that rooftop solar power is doing. Right back at the start of the Series in the introductory Post (at this link)I showed the two Load Curves for Summer and Winter. Rather than show them both again, take the link and scroll down a little to those two images, and the top one is for Summer. Note that on that Summer Load Curve, consumption rises from that 4AM dip and it rises to a high and then levels off slightly to show the Peak at around 4PM in the afternoon.

However, what I have noticed this Summer especially (now I am watching all this on a virtually constant basis) is that Rooftop Solar power is actually making that Load Curve look a little different. Instead of that rise that looks like it does in that image, the rise is almost linear in nature (well sort of anyway) to the Peak, which is still at around the same time, (3.30 to 4PM) and is still the same total for power consumption. What has happened is that rooftop solar power is generating power that now does not need to be supplied from other sources. However, what needs to be understood here is that this power generation is only in the Residential sector where those panels are fitted to rooftops on private homes. It is also only at the times of when rooftop solar is generating its most power, between 10.30AM and around 2.30PM at best. Also, what needs to be understood here is that while there is a seemingly large total Nameplate for rooftop solar it is in fact generating nowhere near that amount of power. Some sources quote rooftop solar power in Australia with a total Nameplate of 6000MW, and when expressed like that, the total is a significant one, in fact quite large, as there are no power plants even half that size Nameplate here in Australia. However, when you see that total, be aware that it is spread across a truly vast area, and is now spread across the five States in that AEMO coverage area. Even then the total power being generated at its peak around Midday to 1PM is still only 3200MW maximum. Now even saying it like that makes it seem quite a large amount, but as I said, it is spread across each of those five States, so while the larger States have larger amounts of roofs with panels, that cuts the total back to small totals for each State. Even so, at that figure of 3200MW, that is out of a Nameplate of 6000MW, so it is still only generating at a little over 50% of its Capacity when it is generating at its peak, 11AM till 1PM, and when those totals are looked at on a State wide basis, it’s pretty even at or around the 50% total, and in the context of how much power that is alleviating in each State, it is indeed only a small amount. Even then, that generated power is only being consumed in that Residential sector, the homes with the panels and those home close by, as very little power at all would be fed back to the grid.

So, while it seems like it looks like a large amount, it isn’t really, and in fact it also is not being relied upon for the delivery of power to cover what is being used in the wider community, the remaining 90 to 95% of power consumption for those four or so hours when those panels are generating power. At that 50% generation, it also shows that spread across such huge areas, there are always some areas which are cloud covered enough that the panels cannot generate their maximum. So, a total of 6000MW of rooftop solar power is meaningless, as it only generates 3200MW for a couple of hours each side of Midday ….. in Summer. In the Winter Months, those figures will be significantly lower.

This Last Week’s Base Load And Peak Power Totals

Note the average total for the Base Load this last week, It was over 19000MW, and that’s the first time I have seen that, when the average for the week is that high. That made the rolling average for 33 weeks rise again, and it’s now up to 18076MW. There were three days when it was close to 20000MW. Also of note is that coal fired power generation rose considerably, to almost 16000MW of that total Base Load, well over 80%. For most of the week, only one Unit was off line of the existing 48 Units. The Bayswater Unit that was offline came back up on the Tuesday, as I expected it to, down for some maintenance. The only other Unit which was off line was one of the six Units at the old Gladstone Plant in Queensland.

The daily Peaks were also up as well, and that Peak is worth watching, not for the amount but the time, as I mentioned above when referring to rooftop solar power. That Peak is at 4PM, and is the same time every day. The three big States, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria have their Peaks at that time, while for the two smaller States, South Australia and Tasmania, their Peaks are a little later in the evening, but all totals for all five States are taken at that time of 4PM. Also, something I did notice this week was the spread of power consumption across those five States, and once I did notice it, I went back every day and checked it constantly. What I found was that those three big States are consuming between 90 and 92% of all the power across that coverage area, and doing that for most of the day. Queensland had a heat wave for a few days this last week, and that State’s power consumption rose to the largest Peak that State had ever had, almost 10000MW at the Peak time.

Now, there is one important thing I would like to point out here, the comparison between the Base Load and the Peak Load, and here I’ll use the averages, because the daily totals are similar in nature.

Note the average base load for the week, 19030MW, and compare that to the weekly average for the Peak Load, 27470MW.

So, at 4AM, when most of the Country is tucked sound asleep in their beds, Australia, as a whole is consuming almost 70% of its total availability of power. That’s an astonishing total. Mention that to the average person, and there’s every chance they wouldn’t believe you. People have no concept of where power is being consumed, assuming that if they and their family, and everyone they know is sound asleep, then there should be very little happening in the way of power consumption. It’s no good saying that it’s false, because here we have the data with figures that bear it out.

With so much power being consumed at the time of minimum power consumption, then, in reality, there is only one source that can come from, and here in Australia that is from coal fired power, now delivering more than 80% of that power at that time of minimum demand, and on average, more than 70% at Peak Time.

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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