Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 3rd March 2018

Posted on Sun 03/04/2018 by

2


By Anton Lang ~

Week 35

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 25th February 2018

New South Wales – 6690MW (Coal Fired Power – 5100MW)

Queensland – 5410MW (Coal Fired Power – 5700MW)

Victoria – 3570MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1060MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 17720MW

Fossil Fuel – 16300MW (Total coal fired power – 15500MW  – 87.5% of the overall total of 17720MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1100MW (6.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 8.5% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 22510MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18200MW (80.9%)

Monday 26th February 2018

New South Wales – 6300MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

Queensland – 5550MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3920MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1010MW

Tasmania – 1070MW

Total – 17850MW

Fossil Fuel – 16600MW (Total coal fired power – 14900MW  – 83.5% of the overall total of 17850MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 1600MW (9% of the total)

Renewable power – 11.8% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25870MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19500MW (75.4%)

Tuesday 27th February 2018

New South Wales – 6430MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

Queensland – 5630MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 4130MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

South Australia – 1160MW

Tasmania – 960MW

Total – 18310MW

Fossil Fuel – 16000MW (Total coal fired power – 14800MW  – 80.8% of the overall total of 18310MW)

Hydro – 450MW

Wind – 1850MW (10.1% of the total)

Renewable power – 12.6% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26350MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19300MW (73.2%)

Wednesday 28th February 2018

New South Wales – 6420MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

Queensland – 5500MW (Coal Fired Power – 5400MW)

Victoria – 4050MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

South Australia – 1100MW

Tasmania – 920MW

Total – 17990MW

Fossil Fuel – 15300MW (Total coal fired power – 14300MW  – 79.5% of the overall total of 17990MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 2400MW (13.3% of the total)

Renewable power – 15.6% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26290MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19600MW (74.6%)

Thursday 1st March 2018

New South Wales – 6730MW (Coal Fired Power – 5400MW)

Queensland – 5490MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3970MW (Coal Fired Power – 4300MW)

South Australia – 1200MW

Tasmania – 970MW

Total – 8360MW

Fossil Fuel – 16700MW (Total coal fired power – 15300MW  – 83.3% of the overall total of 18360MW)

Hydro – 400MW

Wind – 1200MW (6.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 8.7% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26270MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 20000MW (76.1%)

Friday 2nd March 2018

New South Wales – 6640MW (Coal Fired Power – 6000MW)

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

Victoria – 4140MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

South Australia – 1200MW

Tasmania – 1060MW

Total – 18910MW

Fossil Fuel – 17600MW (Total coal fired power – 16100MW  – 85.1% of the overall total of 18910MW)

Hydro – 600MW

Wind – 700MW (3.7% of the total)

Renewable power – 6.9% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25790MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19300MW (74.8%)

Saturday 3rd March 2018

New South Wales – 6260MW (Coal Fired Power – 5700MW)

Queensland – 5670MW (Coal Fired Power – 5700MW)

Victoria – 3990MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

South Australia – 1150MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 18060MW

Fossil Fuel – 17200MW (Total coal fired power – 15800MW  – 87.5% of the overall total of 18060MW)

Hydro – 500MW

Wind – 500MW (2.8% of the total)

Renewable power – 5.5% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24890MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 19400MW (77.9%)

*****

This Week’s Average For Base Load – 18172MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 15243MW – 83.9%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 18090MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14630MW – 80.9%

*****

This Week’s Average For Peak Load – 25425MW

This Week’s Average For Peak Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 19329MW – 76%

*****

Comments For This Last Week

This was the last week of Summer, and already, it’s noticeable that power consumption is decreasing, albeit ever so slightly. The Average Base Load for the week fell by around 270MW, and while that may seem a lot, it’s only a fall of a little less than 1.5%. Even so, the Running Average for the minimum power consumption at 4AM rose a little, and is still over 18000MW. Perhaps where the (slight) fall is a little more noticeable is at the Peak Power time, and the average for that Peak Power for this week dropped by around 700MW.

In both cases, at that time of minimum consumption at 4AM and at Peak Power time, coal fired power is still delivering the bulk of the power, almost 81% at 4AM, and more than three quarters at Peak Power time. No matter what anyone says, coal fired power is still the main provider, and will be for some considerable time yet.

Wind power had a good day, a bad day, and the average was still only 7.4% of power at that 4AM time, and that is still only the average for wind power, around 1300MW, which is around the average for wind across the whole year, and read that again, 1300MW, when 18000MW is required, and while that average is just that, an average, keep in mind that during this week, it varied from 500MW to 2400MW. Keep in mind here that the times for power consumption are the same every day, with the low at 4AM and the peak at 4.30PM. No one knows exactly what wind will be supplying at any time, let alone when it is most needed, at Peak times, so there is just no way it can be relied upon to supply anything other than incidental power. If it’s high, then good, and if not, then it doesn’t matter as there are always plants which CAN be called into service at a moment’s notice. Either way, wind power has NO impact at all on coal fired power. That coal fired power is used as the solid requirement for the vast proportion of power needs, consistently more than 70%. When you’re talking 18000MW to almost 30000MW at times, then a tiny amount of wind power is all but useless, considering they have no idea when it may or may not fall, so it is just never relied on as a consistent source supplier.

What was also noticeable this week was the number of coal fired Units off line, also showing a gradual increase. We have had weeks and weeks now when between one and three Units have been off line, and the average has been around the two mark, while this last week, it averaged between three and five. Now that Summer’s high power requirement is easing, plant operators can begin closing single Units at their plants for maintenance. It’s a difficult thing to understand that once these Units come on line, they run at virtually their maximum for all the time they are on. They may ramp back a little on power generation from the time of greatest requirement (Peak Power) to the time of least consumption, (at that 4AM time) but while ever they are running the turbine is driving the Generator at its maximum. An equivalent you may more readily identify with is that you get in your car, turn on the engine and run it flat out, sometimes for weeks and Months at a time. You would never actually do that, as you would need to keep fuel to the engine, but the principle is the same. The coal is crushed to a fine powder consistency, and injected with air into the furnace, which boils water to steam, which is then highly pressurised, and is used to drive the three stage turbine, which in turn drives the generator. It’s hard to imagine that these Units are driven at their maximum for all that time they are on, and it just goes to show just how good the design really is, and then consider that they have a life span of 50 years, and sometimes longer than that.

I mentioned that Summer has now finished, well, the actual dates which are used to signify that change anyway, even though power consumption does not rigidly conform to calendar dates.

I’m working on the averages for power data for the Summer period of those three Months, and they will be detailed in next week’s Post.

It is only environmentalists and some politicians, well, most of them really, who are trying to tell the public that wind power is significant, and is replacing coal fired power, which is on the decline. Coal fired power is not declining. It is actually delivering more power now than it has been, and that will continue for many more years to come.

There really is just 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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