Australian Energy Market Operator suspends spot market for wholesale electricity to ensure reliability and avoid blackouts
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has taken the extraordinary step of suspending the spot market for wholesale electricity across the country. The electricity sector has been dealing with soaring costs, forcing AEMO to cap prices and compel generators to offer their services.
AEMO has now suspended the spot market entirely across the National Electricity Market — which includes Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, NSW and the ACT — saying it is impossible to ensure reliable electricity supply under the current circumstances…“Right now we see the market is not able to deal with all the factors thrown at it. Frankly, those factors are quite extreme, ranging from generators that are both planned and unplanned outages, very high demand.” [very cold winter weather]…
Soaring costs have prompted AEMO to cap electricity prices in recent days. That led to power generators withdrawing electricity on the basis that their operations would be unprofitable under the price cap. This meant AEMO forced operators to supply electricity into the grid to avoid blackouts, with the operators being compensated for the supply.
Austrialia would seem to be a prime location for solar energy given its climate and widely scattered population in the outback. Also with most of their people living along its coasts you would think that offshore wind generation would be a possibility.
Electric vehicles could significantly increase demand on the power grid, trials underway to change energy use behaviour
Electric cars could increase demand on the power grid during the evening peak by at least 30% unless households adopt smart charging, a new trial shows…
With the threat of blackouts a reality amid higher prices and demand, Origin’s general manager of e-mobility Chau Le said the network would struggle once EVs became more popular. “At the moment our electricity grid is not coping at all,” she said…
To manage the looming threat, Origin and ARENA have been trialling “smart charging”, with results published yesterday. Smart chargers, costing between $2,000 and $3,000, were installed in homes of 150 EV users and baseline data was captured…It found that without intervention, 30% of charging was done in the evening peak, between 3pm and 9pm…“We do expect that with mass adoption of EVs and less engaged EV drivers, on energy, that peak consumption will be much higher than the 30 per cent,” she said.
New Hampshire Cooperative Electric and others offer “Off Peak” charging discounts: https://www.nhec.com/take-charge-save/
So here’s one answer to taking the stress off of a power grid, have your customers get paid for good behavior.
As the saying goods, “Money talks”.
New Hampshire Cooperative Electric and others offer “Off Peak” charging discounts
That certainly helps as the Australian article noted.
However, from the article:
The chargers allow people to set their charging times, for example when there is more low-cost renewable energy being produced…It found that without intervention, 30% of charging was done in the evening peak, between 3pm and 9pm.
However, Mrs Le said the participants were highly engaged and early adopters of technology and many regular motorists may not pay as much attention to optimal charging times.
“We do expect that with mass adoption of EVs and less engaged EV drivers, on energy, that peak consumption will be much higher than the 30%,” she said.
… and many regular motorists may not pay as much attention to optimal charging times.
With discounts approaching 50% for off peak charging for EV’s that might make a real incentive.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has taken the extraordinary step of suspending the spot market for wholesale electricity…Soaring costs have prompted AEMO to cap electricity prices in recent days. That led to power generators withdrawing electricity on the basis that their operations would be unprofitable under the price cap. This meant AEMO forced operators to supply electricity into the grid to avoid blackouts…
Victoria facing gas shortage as market regulator warns of further intervention
Australia’s energy regulator has warned Victoria is facing a gas shortage which could plunge the electricity market into a fresh crisis. The Iona gas storage facility in Port Campbell has dropped to record-low supply levels due to high demand amid the state’s price cap…
“This year, unplanned coal fired generation outages and especially cold winter weather have led to Iona customers starting to withdraw gas from storage earlier and in larger quantities than usual.” Reports suggest the AEMO may intervene to limit the amount of gas being taken from the facility.
Last month AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) published a reliability outlook for electricity. It doesn’t look good for South Australia and Victoria. In their 2023-24 outlook they write:
“Expected unserved energy (USE) is forecast to be above the IRM [Interim Reliability Measure] of 0.0006% USE in South Australia and Victoria in the coming year, although risks remain in all regions under extreme conditions…Factors that influence when and how USE occurs include occurrences of generator outages and high demand at the same time as low wind and solar generation conditions.”
Looking at the next few years, things look worse, with unserved energy needs growing.
Pretty easy to fix. Make the default “smart charge” unless the user pounches in “I need to charge now” on a screen or button. I’d bet this would take care of 99% of situations.