Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Friday 20th July 2018

Posted on Sat 07/21/2018 by


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.

Friday 20th July 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 – 18820MW

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 28510MW

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 19500MW

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 29300MW

Average Total Power Generation – 24600MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 590.4GWH

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 – 14800MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 8500MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 17100MW

Total Generated Power – 410.4GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 69.51%

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 – 700MW

Daily Peak – 4400MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 2060MW

Total Generated Power – 49.44GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 8.37%

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 – 4300MW

Daily Peak – 6600MW

Average Renewable Generation – 5440MW

Total Generated Power – 130.56GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 22.12%

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 – 1450MW

Daily Peak – 4350MW

Average Hydro Generation – 2740MW

Total Generated Power – 65.76GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 11.14%

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 – 2300MW

Daily Peak – 3300MW

Average Wind Generation – 2610MW

Total Generated Power – 62.64GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 10.61%

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 – 450MW

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 220MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM) (Cloudy and overcast conditions at nearly every site)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 90MW

Total Generated Power – 2.16GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day– 0.37%

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 – 1900MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM) (Cloudy and overcast conditions in most States)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 790MW

Total Generated Power – 18.96GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 3.21%


  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, and then divide by 1000.
  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.
  6. Total Generated Power is expressed here as GWH (GigaWattHours) and a GWH is a MWH (MegaWattHour) multiplied by 1000

Comments For This Day

On this Friday power consumption and generation figures were basically similar to what they were yesterday.

The minimum power consumption, at that 4AM Base Load time, was 160MW lower, and at the peak power consumption, it was 240MW higher, remarkably similar considering the vast coverage area, and five States included in this data. That was from power consumption figures ranging from that minimum of almost 19000MW to a high of almost 29000MW, a range of almost 10000MW.

The average power generation from all sources was up by only 100MW to an average of 24600MW an hour across the full 24 hour day.

The average for solar power was down by 10MW, and note how that’s only a small number considering the overcast and cloudy conditions at most sites during the day, easily seen by the jaggedness of that curve for power generation. It’s small because it is such a tiny contributor to the overall power generation, today barely more than a third of one percent.

The average for wind power was down by 360MW, and note from the graph that it is now in a decreasing phase after a week of being quite high, as a large High pressure weather system moves across that area where the most of those wind plants are situated. That average of 2610MW gives wind power a daily operational Capacity Factor of almost right on 50%, still high by wind power standards.

Because wind power was decreasing, note here that the other two sources used when there are changes in wind power generation both rose on the day, natural gas fired power rising by 470MW, mostly during that evening peak time, and also hydro, which was up by 300MW, again helping out the most during that evening peak as wind power fell away markedly at that same time.

Again, I have left coal fired power for the last to be mentioned, and on this day it was down by 300MW, with seven Units off line, and while the Bayswater unit came back up in the morning, one of the big Units at the Eraring plant, also in New South Wales went off line at 10.30PM, and that was Unit One. They may be having problems with it, because it was only delivering at around 200MW for part of the day, raised to 450MW for eight hours to help cover the evening peak, and then going off line at around 10PM, so those smaller totals during the day would account for the overall drop in the average for coal fired power being 300MW lower on the day, all of it from this one Unit.

You only need to use a bit of logic here to see why the plant’s operators waited to take the Unit off line until it did go down. It could have been closed down at any time, but they waited until after the evening peak, and late on the Friday night to close it down. The Unit delivered its highest power for the day, that 450MW (still almost 300MW down on its rated maximum) to cover that evening peak when it was needed the most, and then, full in the knowledge that the two days of the weekend were almost upon them, two days of overall much lower need for large amounts of power, they closed it down to give them almost three full days before the next major peak, Monday at around 6PM, giving them three full days to work on the problem. It is indicative, that even when coal fired power has a perceived problem, it is still the source most relied upon to deliver those huge amounts of power required to keep the Country going.

So, even though the overall average was higher, and coal fired power lower, that average for coal fired power still showed it to be delivering just under 70% of all the power required.

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.