Australian Base Load Electrical Power – Week Ending 14th April 2018 2018

Posted on Sun 04/15/2018 by

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By Anton Lang ~

Week 41

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 8th April 2018

New South Wales – 6020MW (Coal Fired Power – 4300MW)

Queensland – 5240MW (Coal Fired Power – 5400MW)

Victoria – 3520MW (Coal Fired Power – 4000MW)

South Australia – 890MW

Tasmania – 1040MW

Total – 16710MW

Fossil Fuel – 14400MW (Total coal fired power – 13700MW  – 82% of the overall total of 16710MW)

Hydro – 1200MW

Wind – 1400MW (8.4% of the total)

Renewable power – 15.6% of the total.

Sunday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 24330MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 17200MW (70.7%)

Monday 9th April 2018

New South Wales – 6050MW (Coal Fired Power – 4500MW)

Queensland – 5360MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3920MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

South Australia – 1140MW

Tasmania – 960MW

Total – 17430MW

Fossil Fuel – 15200MW (Total coal fired power – 14400MW  – 82.6% of the overall total of 17430MW)

Hydro – 1000MW

Wind – 1400MW (8% of the total)

Renewable power – 13.8% of the total.

Monday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26480MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18200MW (68.8%)

Tuesday 10th April 2018

New South Wales – 6240MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

Queensland – 5430MW (Coal Fired Power – 5500MW)

Victoria – 3790MW (Coal Fired Power – 4000MW)

South Australia – 1210MW

Tasmania – 910MW

Total – 17580MW

Fossil Fuel – 14600MW (Total coal fired power – 13900MW  – 79.1% of the overall total of 17580MW)

Hydro – 1000MW

Wind – 2200MW (12.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 18.2% of the total.

Tuesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26360MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18600MW (70.6%)

Wednesday 11th April 2018

New South Wales – 6110MW (Coal Fired Power – 4700MW)

Queensland – 5410MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 4020MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

South Australia – 1160MW

Tasmania – 1010MW

Total – 17710MW

Fossil Fuel – 15900MW (Total coal fired power – 14700MW  – 83% of the overall total of 17710MW)

Hydro – 1200MW

Wind – 800MW (4.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 11.3% of the total.

Wednesday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26720MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18400MW (68.9%)

Thursday 12th April 2018

New South Wales – 6350MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

Queensland – 5380MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3690MW (Coal Fired Power – 4000MW)

South Australia – 1220MW

Tasmania – 990MW

Total – 17630MW

Fossil Fuel – 14800MW (Total coal fired power – 14000MW  – 79.4% of the overall total of 17630MW)

Hydro – 950MW

Wind – 2150MW (12.2% of the total)

Renewable power – 17.6% of the total.

Thursday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 26560MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18600MW (70%)

Friday 13th April 2018

New South Wales – 6270MW (Coal Fired Power – 4900MW)

Queensland – 5360MW (Coal Fired Power – 5600MW)

Victoria – 3920MW (Coal Fired Power – 4400MW)

South Australia – 1070MW

Tasmania – 1000MW

Total – 17620MW

Fossil Fuel – 16000MW (Total coal fired power – 14900MW  – 84.6% of the overall total of 17620MW)

Hydro – 1000MW

Wind – 1000MW (5.7% of the total)

Renewable power – 11.4% of the total.

Friday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 25280MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 18200MW (72%)

Saturday 14th April 2018

New South Wales – 6230MW (Coal Fired Power – 4000MW)

Queensland – 5310MW (Coal Fired Power – 5300MW)

Victoria – 3590MW (Coal Fired Power – 3500MW)

South Australia – 880MW

Tasmania – 890MW

Total – 16900MW

Fossil Fuel – 13400MW (Total coal fired power – 12800MW  – 75.7% of the overall total of 16900MW)

Hydro – 1000MW

Wind – 3300MW (19.5% of the total)

Renewable power – 25.4% of the total.

Saturday Peak Power at 6PM – Total Power Consumption – 23370MW and Coal Fired Power supplied 17300MW (74%)

*****

This Week’s Average For Base Load – 17369MW

This Week’s Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14058MW – 80.9%

Running Weekly Average For Base Load – 18025MW

Running Weekly Average For Base Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 14583MW – 80.9%

*****

This Week’s Average For Peak Load – 25586MW

This Week’s Average For Peak Load Supplied from Coal Fired Power – 18072MW – 70.6%

*****

Comments For This Last Week

We are now right in the middle of Autumn, and the middle of the benign Months when the overall total power consumption for Australia is at its lowest. This week, that base Load Minimum was slightly higher than for last week, and the amount supplied from coal fired power was down by around 500MW. The Running Average is also slightly lower, but the coal fired component of that is still over 80% of the total, those last two totals barely changing now.

Because those weekly totals have indeed fallen, the major coal fired plants are still taking this drop as being a good time to do the maintenance checks required so that the plants are ready for the Winter increase in power consumption, and again, that was fairly obvious with between five and eight of those big Units off line, and again, the bulk of those were in New South Wales again with four large Units down, totalling 2700MW off line. The old Liddell Plant is still shouldering a proportion of the load, still with all four Units operational, supplying at the best it currently can deliver.

What is a little interesting here is that the Peak Load figure for this week was slightly higher. As I mentioned last week, that peak Load time has moved back from late afternoon to 6PM now in nearly all States, and that time is closest to the Peak Time during the Winter. Even so, with all those Units off line, coal fired power delivered slightly more than it did last week to cover that increase in the Peak Load.

Power Consumption versus Generated Power

Now, some of you may look closely at the actual data I have detailed here, and actually have ‘Eagle Eyes’ enough to notice what might seem to be an anomaly. Look at the totals for Saturday. See there how the coal fired power percentage comes in at 75.7%. Now look at the total percentage for Renewables, (both wind power and hydro power) and see how that comes in at 25.4%. Hey, that adds up to 101.1%, and then, on top of that, we have 600MW extra in that Fossil Fuel total, making the total percentage even higher again. It looks like an error, doesn’t it?

It isn’t.

There is a difference between the total power being generated and the total power being consumed. There always has to be more power being generated than is being consumed, and it’s not just on this day where it looks more like an anomaly, but on every day, all the time, not just at that 4AM Base Load minimum, but across the full 24 hours of every day. That is because in every power system, (no matter where) there are losses in the system, and that is never more highlighted than here in Australia. Keep in mind here that the area size of Australia is not all that much smaller than for the Continental U.S. land mass. The U.S. has a considerably higher population than Australia, and generates 20 times more power than Australia generates. Because of that, consumers  (a lot more of them in the U.S. than in Australia) are closer to virtually all forms of electrical power generation. Because that area size for Australia is around the same, and with a considerably lower population, that power has to be transmitted much longer distances between where it is being generated and where it is being consumed, and there are always losses inherent with that power transmission versus distance. So, the losses in Australia are higher (in fact considerably higher in a percentage value) than they are in the U.S. Because of that, (as is always the same in every Country) we always must have more power available at the grid than what is actually being consumed, and it is an electrical principle that power generated must be equal to power consumed plus power losses.

Hence we have the case on Sunday where this is actually highlighted because the percentages add up to more than 100%.

Now, while you are looking at the totals for that same day, the Saturday, as is always the case the Base Load figure (the power being consumed) is always lower on the two weekend days than it is for the week day work days. So, even while this base Load is at its lowest for the week, that figure is still up close to that 18000MW total.

Note here specifically that total for wind power, where it is at 3300MW. That’s about as good as it gets for wind power, and is around the largest total I have seen across these last 40 plus weeks. There is a total Nameplate for Wind Power here in Australia of 4920MW, so that total you see there of 3300MW means that wind power is generating at a 67.1% Capacity Factor rate, and that’s well more than double the yearly average Capacity Factor, which is 30%.

Okay, so here we have wind power at its best, 3300MW. Now look at the total for Hydro, and that’s 1000MW. I mentioned last week why hydro figure is so high, because for most weeks, at this time, it barely averages 400MW, and maybe as high as 600MW, but it has consistently been higher than 1000MW for the last couple of weeks, and that is because the Basslink Interconnector between Victoria and the Island State of Tasmania, so Tasmania has to rely almost solely on its hydro capability, which is not all that difficult, as Tasmania (luckily) has the lowest power consumption of any State in Australia.

So, here, on this Saturday, on the day with the lowest Base Load of the week, and with base Load the lowest point of power consumption on any day, and we have wind and hydro supplying 25.4% of all the power required for consumption.

It’s the best it is, and still can only manage a quarter of what is needed.

Coal fired power dropped a little on that day, but hey, it was still delivering THREE TIMES as much as all renewables were generating.

You can mumble on all you like about how renewables had such a wonderful day, but even at their absolute best, all they can manage is a quarter of what is needed.

You CAN’T run a Country on a quarter of what is needed, That 100% total is mandatory, absolute, required ALL the time, not just at a single point in time on one day, when even then, it only manages  a quarter of what is needed.

Here in Australia, coal fired power does just that. It supplies that mandatory absolute power on a regular basis, not just when the wind is blowing fairly well,

It again accentuates what I have been saying all along, when it comes to coal fired power, there really 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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