Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Sunday 3rd June 2018 – Plus Weekly And Rolling Totals

Posted on Mon 06/04/2018 by

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By Anton Lang ~

This Post details the daily power consumption data for the AEMO coverage area in Australia. For the background information, refer to the Introductory Post at this link.

Each image is shown here at a smaller size to fit on the page alongside the data for that day. If you click on each image, it will open on a new page and at a larger size so you can better see the detail.

Note also the scale change for some of the images. That scale (the total power shown on the left hand axis) has been changed to show the graph at a larger size.

Sunday 3rd June 2018

Total Power Generation All Sources

Here, the black line is the total power generation from every source. This is also the same as for total power consumption, which is slightly lower after minor grid losses are taken into account.

The Blue line is all fossil fuelled power generation. The orange line is hydro power generation. The purple line is wind power generation, and the red line is for solar power generation.

Both of those (exact) figures for total power consumption for the daily minimum and the daily Peak are taken directly from the AEMO site, adding up the totals for each of the five States in this coverage area.

Note the slight difference between Total Consumed Power and Total Generated Power. That indicates some of the losses in the grid system.

Daily Minimum Power Consumption – 18050MW

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 26520MW

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 18500MW

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 27000MW

Average Total Power Generation – 22000MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 528GWH

All Fossil Fuels Total – Coal Fired and Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

Here, the upper black line is the total from all fossil fuels, and this is the same as the blue line in the image directly above.

The black line just under that top black line is the Sub Total just for coal fired power. Note here how closely that coal fired line follows the shape of the upper Load Curve, and this indicates that coal fired power can be ramped up and down to follow actual power consumption.

Daily Minimum Coal Fired – 15900MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 18700MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 17200MW

Total Generated Power – 412.8GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 78.18%

Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

This image for Natural Gas Fired Power Generation shows the gap between the total for all Fossil Fuelled Sources of power generation and Coal Fired Power Generation in the image directly above.

Note here how closely the shape follows the total power generation Load Curve in the top image, indicating how these natural gas fired plants are used to smooth out the load curve to match actual power consumption.

Note also that while coal fired power provides the bulk of the power, these natural gas fired plants are used to add more power to the system during those time periods during the day when consumption rises for the morning peak, and the main evening Peak

Daily Minimum – 1250MW

Daily Peak – 4250MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 2170MW

Total Generated Power – 52.08GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 9.86%

All Renewable Power Generation Versus Total Power Generation

This Image shows just the gap between total power generation from every source and the total power from renewable sources only. It is the same image as the first image at the top here, only with the fossil fuelled total (the blue line) removed from the graph, As in that top image, it shows Hydro Power, (orange line) wind power, (purple line) and solar power. (red line) What I have then done is added the black line just above those coloured lines and this indicates the Sub Total of power from those three renewable sources only. This is to highlight the gap between the total power generation and the total from renewable sources alone.

All Renewable Power Generation (Does not include rooftop solar generation)

This image is the same as for the one directly above for all renewable power, only with the total from all sources removed from the graph. As the scale of the left hand vertical axis has now changed, you can better see the detail of all renewable power. Again, the orange line is for hydro, the purple line is for wind, and the red line is for solar, and the black line is the Sub total for all renewable power. The other colour just showing indicates smaller plants, mostly using biofuels as their fuel source, tiny plants adding up to a very small total and for a short time duration.

Daily Minimum – 1800MW

Daily Peak – 4500MW

Average Renewable Generation – 2630MW

Total Generated Power – 63.12GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 11.95%

Hydro Power Generation

This image shows all Hydro power generation. It is the same as the orange line in the top image for power generation from all sources.

Again, note here that the shape of this load curve follows the shape of the main load curve for all power generation, in that it has similar peaks in the morning and for the man evening Peak. The coloured lines at the bottom of this graph indicate the power generation from each of the hydro plants in this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – 1250MW

Daily Peak – 4250MW

Average Hydro Generation – 2190MW

Total Generated Power – 52.56GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 9.95%

Wind Power Generation

This image shows the total power generated by every wind plant in this vast coverage area. It is the same as for the purple coloured line in the image at the top showing generation from all sources.

The total Nameplate for all these wind plants is just under 5225MW.

Note that the shape of this load curve does not follow the shape of the main load curve for total power generation. Wind power generates its power only when the wind is blowing, hence it does not follow actual power consumption levels.

Daily Minimum – 75MW

Daily Peak – 490MW

Average Wind Generation – 330MW

Total Generated Power – 7.92GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 1.5%

Solar Power Plant Generation

This image shows the total power generated from all the solar power plants in this coverage area. This is the same as for the red coloured line you can just see in that top image.

The total Nameplate for all these 16 solar plants is just lower than 1000MW.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 430MW (some peaks to 460MW in cloudy conditions at some sites)

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 270MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 110MW

Total Generated Power – 2.64GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day– 0.5%

Rooftop Solar Power Generation

As this source of power generation is classed as ‘behind the meter’, it is not included in the total power generation. Note here that the State of Queensland (QLD on the legend under the graph) is broken down into four separate areas as this is the largest State with the largest number of installations.

While the total Nameplate changes often, the latest information is that the total is now 7800MW, and that is a large total. However, that total equates to 1.8 Million homes with panels on their roof. That equates to an average sized installation of 4.3KW. Most of the power is consumed by the homes with the panels, and what is fed back to the grid, while seemingly still high is spread across that huge number of installations across the whole of this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 3300MW

Average For Hours of Generation – 2100MW (7AM till 5.30PM)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 910MW

Total Generated Power – 21.84GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 4.14%

Notes

  1. Finding Averages – On each graph there are 9 time points. Add the total at each time point together, and divide by 9. For coal fired power, I do this on a State by State basis (for the 3 States with coal fired power) and then add the total for each State together.
  2. For both solar power averages, I have used the average for a (half) Sine Wave which is 0.637 of the Peak value.
  3. For total power in GWH, multiply the average daily power by 24.
  4. The total percentages for coal fired power, natural gas fired power and all renewables adds up to 100%.
  5. The total percentages for Hydro, Wind, and Solar adds up to the total percentage for all Renewables.

Comments For This Day

This data is for the Sunday, again a weekend day, so power consumption is lower than for weekday working days, and that is reflected in the figures for this day, with all power generation across the board lower for the day.

The minimum power consumption at 4AM (the Base Load) was 750MW lower than for the day before, and interestingly the Peak Power consumption was a little higher than for yesterday. Actual power generation at those times was similar to the falls in consumption.

The average power generation from all sources fell by 800MW over yesterday, and for some perspective, that average or this Sunday was 2000MW lower than for the Friday working day, and that’s a drop of 8.4%, a substantial amount. That average was 22000MW for this Sunday.

That fall in the overall average of 800MW saw falls in every source of power generation.

The average for coal fired power fell by 400MW, and even so, coal fired power still delivered 78% of all the power being consumed. That is despite another of those Units at the old Liddell coal fired plant dropping off line. It went down at 1.30PM, taking 300MW out of the system, and Liddell now has two Units off line. Now, look closely at the graph for natural gas fired power and at that same time as the Unit at Liddell went down at 1.30PM, you can see a small spike upwards in that graph at the same time, when some of those fast starting Open Cycle Gas Turbine natural gas fired plants came on line rapidly to make up for that sudden loss. Across the total coverage area, there are now 8 of those coal fire plant’s Units off line, and still coal fired power delivers the bulk of the power,

The average for natural gas fired power fell by 90MW, and hydro fell by 80MW, and solar power fell by 10MW.

Wind power fell off by 220MW to an average of only 330MW for the day, and that’s a pitiful 1.5% of the power which was actually needed across the day. That total of 330MW is at a Capacity Factor of only 6.3%. Note that low point on the graph for wind power of 75MW at around 2.30PM. That total makes up 0.33% of what was being consumed at the same time, so one third of one percent. That low wind power generation is due to that huge High Pressure weather system now virtually hovering over the area where most of those wind plants are located, and it looks likely to be similar or probably even lower tomorrow.

So, even on a day of lowest consumption for the week, coal fired power delivers almost 80% of all the power being consumed.

WEEKLY DATA

Here, the Overall is 100%, so Coal + Natural Gas (NG) + Renewable adds up to that 100%

Hydro, Wind and Solar add up to the total for Renewable.

Rooftop Solar Power (which is behind the meter) is a percentage of the overall total and on top of that total.

WEEKLY TOTALS (In GWH)

Week           Overall        Coal         NG         Renewable        Hydro         Wind        Solar        Rooftop Solar

Week 3        3880.8        2889.6       342.96       648.24            394.32        237.36        16.56         163.68

Percentage of the total  74.45%      8.84%        16.7%             10.16%         6.12%         0.43%        4.22%

ROLLING TOTALS (In GWH)

Week               Overall        Coal         NG        Renewable        Hydro        Wind         Solar        Rooftop Solar

After Week 3  11407.2       8527.2    1039.44    1840.48          1116.98       675.26       48.02          460.62

Percentage of the total      74.75%    9.11%        16.13%             9.79%         5.92%        0.42%          4.04%

COMMENTS

After three weeks now, the data is settling down somewhat into where those averages should stabilise. With Winter now upon us, well and truly, with a big cold snap cooling things down all along the Eastern Seaboard this week, power consumption virtually across the board is slowly rising.

As can be seen from the weekly data there, the power delivered from coal fired power is around three quarters of all power being needed for consumption. What is most noticeable from doing the daily data Posts is that coal fired power remains around the same, no matter how much the total consumption rises and falls. It is seemingly unaffected by any other method of power generation. The only changes seem to be when Units go off line, or come back on line.

Wind power is well worth watching and in point of fact, it has actually surprised me. Previously, I only looked at the ‘numbers’ in isolation, mainly at that 4AM time of minimum power consumption, the Base Load. Now, looking at them as a whole on a daily basis gives a whole new impression of them, due in the main to viewing not just wind power, but how it delivers in conjunction with hydro power and also natural gas fired power. Those three sources usually even out between them to around the same amount each day. What did surprise me was that they are using hydro power ….. as well as natural gas fired power to even out those numbers here, and previously, I only thought that they used natural gas fired power to ‘adjust’ wind power. Now, I can see (and the data confirms it) that hydro is also being used as well, so if wind power is high, then hydro is lower, and vice versa, if wind is low, then they use more amounts of hydro power. Because of that the total from all renewables remains similar for most of the time. It has also caused me to look more closely at weather conditions with respect to wind power generation, and it’s now becoming evident to me that the passage of those weather events is instrumental in whether wind power is high or low.

The average for wind power this week was a little lower than last week This most recent week saw wind power with a couple of good days, an average day a couple of below average days and a really poor day. Overall that total for wind power for the week saw it operating at a Capacity Factor of 27%, a little below the year round average of 30%. The three week total gives wind power a Capacity Factor of 25.6% for those three weeks.

Solar power, as you can plainly see is barely half of one percent of what is actually needed, so all but useless. Rooftop solar power does supply a little over four percent of the overall average power generation, but again, for the time when it is needed the most, at Peak Power time, it is back to zero, so not contributing when power is needed the most.

All of this only confirms the importance of coal fired power.

I do have one last general question here.

Look closely at the data for this Sunday above, and look especially at wind power.

See how it only supplied an average of 1.5% of the power required for the day. Let’s now say that State and Federal Governments ramp up considerably the amount of wind power across the whole Country, at enormous cost, and in the process, close down those coal fired power plants as a result of that increase in wind power.

What then will happen when we have days like this with wind power only generating 1.5% of the actual power which is being consumed by all users, and that’s not just a single isolated point in time, but here, across a whole day.

Just what do they propose to do if and when a day like this happens, and it’s not just this one day, but a number of days across the year.

You cannot just shut down the Country, and wait for the wind to get back up again.

THAT is why coal fired power is so important.

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.

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