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Endgame insights

This blog features snapshots of our analysis

Give me 5 minutes

The second quarter of this year has witnessed a series of high price events in Queensland. These price spikes have been profoundly influenced by the dynamics associated with 5-minute dispatch, 30-minute settlement (hereafter ‘5/30’). The second quarter of this year has witnessed a series of high price events in Queensland. These price spikes have been profoundly influenced by the dynamics associated with 5-minute dispatch, 30-minute settlement (hereafter ‘5/30’).

Talkin’ bout our generation

Since the release of Dr Finkel’s review, the term ‘dispatchable generation’ has been appearing more and more across the NEM. The term does not yet have a clear definition, but seems to be used to refer to generating units whose short-term availability is largely determined by the operator (as opposed to the weather). Dispatchable generation therefore seems to encompass all generation except for wind, solar, and run-of-river hydro. Despite extensive discussion about the need for dispatchable generation, there has been little analysis of the demand for it. Against this backdrop, this week we look at the historical demand for dispatchable generation in the region of South Australia.

Small potatoes?

Following the announcement of the National Energy Guarantee, the sector has been awash with speculation about the specifics of this major new policy. Doubtless the NEG will continue to be the centre of much focus for weeks and months to come, and so we shall turn to this in future issues. Instead, this week we respond to a request from one of our readers to take a look at frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) costs. FCAS costs have often been dismissed as ‘small potatoes’ in the scheme of electricity supply, but have risen substantially in recent years. We examine this trend in this week’s charts.

Reaching new lows

For the last couple of weeks, the energy industry has been dominated by discussions about the long foreshadowed closure of Liddell. There has been a great deal of focus on the consequences of the closure during times of high demand. Amidst all the focus on highdemand, South Australia has been experiencing amazingly low levels of demand in recent weeks. Given that unusually low demand is unlikely to make the headlines, this week we thought we would make it our focus by examining the recent minimum demand outcomes in South Australia and Victoria.