Can you sizzle like the pros – by calculating one of these metrics for summer in the NEM?


A couple weeks away has enabled me sufficient time to reflect on our past 15 years of operation – and the fact that I’m going to be in the same boat as a number of our readers over the coming couple weeks (in being stuck in the office whilst a number of others in our team are away, in different corners of the globe).

This picture sums up the next few weeks for me (and perhaps for you?) …

It can surely make you feel glum, receiving Christmas cards from the lucky ones who've headed off for a Christmas away

(sometimes it’s more interesting than others – like this afternoon when we have high demand in QLD and the price spiking to the Market Price Cap of $13,500/MWh)

Because we’re 15 years old (doesn’t happen every year) and because I’m going to be stuck in the office whilst many of our readers are out and about on some form of leisure activity:

(a)  I’m going to open up our competition a little earlier than in prior years (i.e. now, instead of just on Christmas eve) and leave entries open a little longer than in prior years (i.e. to C.O.B. 9th January 2015); and

(b)  I’m going to offer seven different prizes, with each of them being (I hope you will agree) reasonable prizes for those who demonstrate that they have the skill (or the luck) to win them.

Returning to our ongoing theme of guessing the peak NEM-Wide demand for summer, but expanding the competition to take into account several of the more topical developments emerging in the market, we are going to ask you to send in your estimates for one (or more) of the following 7 parameters:

What you need to estimate
(for Extended Summer*)
Entries & Prizes
Comp #1 Peak NEM-Wide Dispatch Demand Target

The NEM is a national market, much of the time, so NEM-Wide demand (on a dispatch target basis) is a metric to keep track of.

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

For those who really do need the details, we calculate this on AEMO’s InfoServer as follows:

select top 1 *
from
(select SUM(TotalDemand) as Demand, SettlementDate
from DispatchRegionSum
where INTERVENTION = 0
group by SettlementDate) q
order by Demand desc

One entry only per person for this one – so make it a good one!

Nail this one, and you get the Main Prize

Comp #2 Peak QLD Region Dispatch Demand Target

With the trend of declining demand coming head-to-head with the emergence of upstream compression of gas supplies for LNG, this will prove a very topical metric to watch this summer.

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

Comp #3 Peak NSW Region Dispatch Demand Target

We have seen the closure of Kurri Kurri smelter mean a step change in demand for the NSW region – and this has compounded the ongoing trend for declining demand.

However the forecast is for a hot, dry and stormy summer – so where will demand end up peaking?

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

Comp #4 Peak VIC Region Dispatch Demand Target

Similarly in Victoria, we’ve seen the closure of Point Henry impact on demand in the region.  The question remains, though – where will demand peak?

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

Comp #5 Peak SA Region Dispatch Demand Target

South Australia is, by its nature, a very peaky region.

With the forecast for plenty of hot weather,  but with the countervailing effect of wind & solar netting off scheduled demand, where will the scheduled demand level peak?

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

Comp #6 Peak TAS Region Dispatch Demand Target

We’ll be particularly interested to see what happens to Tasmanian demand this summer, given the unique characteristics of the region.

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

Comp #7 Peak Aggregate 5-min Metered Wind Production

Growth in wind generation has been one of the major stories to emerge in the NEM in recent years, and there are a few more wind farms coming on stream in the coming months.

What will the peak wind farm production be, over the summer period?

[I’ll separately provide some details of where you can find this in NEM-Watch, later]

You can enter once each day – hence that means a maximum of 24 entries per person over the period.

Nail this one, and you get one of 6 Consolation Prizes

If you prove yourself to be the “best in the NEM” at forecasting one of the above metrics, then we’ll have you enjoying your own new BBQ shortly after summer’s ended:

Turn-the-tables-with-your-new-BBQ

Get your entries in (starting today) to earn bragging rights, by out-scoring your colleagues & your competitors!


The Prize(s)

We have 7 competitions running this summer, so we need 7 prizes – but it’s actually a little more than that.  Let’s see if I can explain this without confusing any of our readers…

The Main Prize – A Beautiful BBQ

You only have only one entry in Competition 1, so make it count – if you’re closest to the mark (forecasting peak NEM-Wide Demand), we’ll crown you “Best Forecaster in the NEM for Summer 2014-15” and provide you this beauty:

2014-12-17-main-prize-foreveryone

It’s a “Premium Beefmaster 6 Burner BBQ on Cart with Side Burner” from Barbeques Galore (current price $999).   I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a wonderful prize, and it’s open to everyone who enters (subject to the fine print below)…

… but wait, there’s more…

I mentioned at the top that we’re wrapping up our 15th year of operation – and, because of that, we’d like to extend a special thank-you to all of our clients, for entrusting us to serve them.

If your single entry is closest to the mark come the end of summer, and you work for a company that’s currently a valued client of ours, then we will offer to upgrade your BBQ to the following beauty:

2014-12-17-main-prize-forclients

This one is called a “Cucina Professional 5 on Cart with Side Burner and Range Unit” from Barbeques Galore (current price $1998) – and, especially because you work for a valued client, we’d be happy to exchange this something closer to what you could particularly need.

Whoever wins (client or not) we reserve the right to come visiting, during the autumn period, with an eski of beer and snags to celebrate.

6 Consolation Prizes – A very handy portable BBQ

You can enter as many as one time each day for Competitions 2 to 7 – subject to the fine print below.

Your best entry (which may not be your first) will be compared against all others for that competition and the best entry (for that competition) will win this handy little worker:

Here's a picture of the "Ziegler & Brown Portable Grill" from BBQ Galore as Consolation Prize

To be clear, we are giving away 6 of these little babies as prizes…

It’s the “Ziegler & Brown Portable Grill” from Barbeques Galore (current price $299).  I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a wonderful prize, and it’s open to everyone who enters (subject to the fine print below)…

Prizes for the keenest competitors

We’ve commenced development of NEM-Watch v10 and will have this released during Q1 2015.

We can’t tell you details of what will be in the new version, yet, and we won’t be making it available for general release until it’s fully finished – but, for those who demonstrate themselves to be our keenest competitors, we’ll be happy to provide a complimentary 12-month licence, and early access to, NEM-Watch v10 (we will appreciate the feedback you can provide to us about all the new features and functionality, as it is developed).


To Enter

Email us (summer@global-roam.com) with your Forecast(s)*, remembering to be clear about which competition you entry is relevant to (if you don’t do this we’ll have a guess, but don’t hold it against us if we misinterpret).

* Forecast, or W.A.G!

Your entry needs to come from a valid work email address (no GMail or Hotmail etc) and include a valid work phone number – so we can contact you to arrange delivery when you win (hey, we’re confident in your ability).

Remember that it’s one entry only for Competition #1 (and the chance at the Major Prize) but that it’s as much as one entry each day for each of the other 6 Competitions, giving you a good chance of being in with a shake of winning one (or more) of the pretty reasonable Consolation Prizes.

You can track entries (to make your entry tomorrow even better) at the special Competition Website here.


The Fine Print

(a.k.a. suggested reading for those who are really keen!)

1) Entry is open to anyone who works in, or around, Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), except for employees, shareholders and other general hangers-on of GLOBAL-ROAM Pty Ltd:

1a)  We will be particularly supportive of employees in organisations that are clients of ours (email us with questions, and we’ll be more likely to point you at references that might help you with your guesstimate, for instance)

1b)  We reserve the right to “lose” entries from companies we deem as competitors to us (can’t have them enjoying a new BBQ on us, can we!)

2)  To be a valid entry:

2a)  Your entry must be received on or between Wednesday 17th December 2014 and Friday 9th January 2015.

2b)  Your entries must be emailed to summer@global-roam.com .

2c)  Your entry must contain your estimate of one (or more) of the following:
Comp # 1 = peak NEM-Wide Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 2 = peak QLD Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 3 = peak NSW Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 4 = peak VIC Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 5 = peak SA Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 6 = peak TAS Demand this Extended Summer*
Comp # 7 = peak Aggregate Wind Farm Output this Extended Summer*
This year we’re using an extended definition of “Summer” to incorporate all of Q1 – hence from 1st December 2014 to 31st March 2015.

2d)  Your entry must be from a valid work email address, and contain your work phone number (on which we can contact you to arrange for delivery).

2e)  If you feel exceptionally lucky (or think you’re a good forecaster) you can also tell us where to have the BBQ delivered.  You don’t need to tell us which it is (i.e. if you’re just lucky, or if you think you are an exceptional forecaster)!

3)  Each of the 7 competitions will be judged independently (i.e. you could, if you are exceptionally good – or just plain lucky) win all 7 BBQ.  I’m sure you’ll have enough “friends” to make your job difficult in handing them all out!

4)  The winner will be notified directly soon after the end of Summer, and the winner’s name will also be published on the WattClarity ® site .

4a)  Delivery of the BBQ will be organised to a location within the standard delivery area of an Australian Barbeques Galore store.

4b)  If the store in your delivery area is out of that particular stock, we’ll arrange a suitable, similar, model for you – at around the same price.

4c)  If the pricing of the prize differs massively from what’s indicated above, we reserve the right to substitute something similar at around the same price.  We would, of course, work with you to ensure it was something that you were happy to receive!

5)  If more than one entry is identical (and all are closest to the mark) we’ll take the first one we’ve received.

6)  The decision of the judges (global-roam Pty Ltd) is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

You could try to bribe them, but that won’t work (though they might be able to save up to have their own holiday next summer).

You could try to get in their “good books” by purchasing lots of NEM-Watch (or by referring NEM-Watch to those poor unfortunate souls who don’t yet have their own copies) – but, whilst that would make them happy, it will not get you closer to being declared the winner (though you will have a pretty good view of what the demand is, all summer!)

Suggested Reading

On WattClarity, you might find the following context useful in determining your entry.  We’ll be adding more in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the site.

1)  Over-arching this competition, and all forecasts for demand (which underlie a number of investment planning decisions), is the question about where demand is headed into the future.  To answer that question, one must first understand how demand has been changing in the NEM, and some of the many factors contributing to the current trend of decline.

2)  Our prior year competition entries will also factor into your estimate for this summer:

Last summer (2013-14) we saw the NEM-wide demand peak at 33,223MW and an AEMO staff member (Magnus Hindsberger) use a very scientific process to ensure he was within 0.26% of the mark).  Highly recommended reading is Magnus’ comment at the bottom of that article, where he explains some of his method.

During summer 2012-13 Joy Chan (of Delta) just scraped past other colleagues at Delta, and the rest of the entrants, with an entry just shy of the mark – in a summer where the peak demand crept close to 32,000MW.

Summer was lacklustre in 2011-12, but the competition still sparkled, and Aden Fanning (of InterGen) was awarded the BBQ and the kudos for a 12 month period.

Summer 2010-11 competition winner – Richard Hickling (of AEMO) – bid <200MW (just 0.6%) higher than the actual demand peak.

Winter 2009 competition winner – Andrea Prouse (of EnergyAustralia – i.e. the original Sydney retailer!) – was 577MW from the mark in a winter that failed to spark.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2008-09 , when Thao Doan (of Stanwell) was a whopping 900MW below the peak in a summer that smashed the previous record.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2006-07 , when David Turnour (of Origin) was about 100MW from the mark (0.3%)

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2005-06 , when Trevor Persal (of Ergon) practically nailed it, with an excellent entry!

3)  Especially if you’re keen on getting your hands on the other prizes (noted below), or you’re the patient, considered type of analyst, you might like to keep an eye on what the other entrants have submitted on this special Competition Website.


So sharpen your pencils, polish your calculators and crank another can of your favourite sugar-laced, caffeine-filled and stimulant-pumped “energy” drink.

If your colleagues have abandoned you in preference for some R&R in some exotic destination, and your Boss has locked you in so you can’t also escape, why not devote a little brain space to solving the multi-billion dollar puzzle of “what’s the peak demand going to be across the NEM this summer?”.

Happy Christmas, from all of us at GLOBAL-ROAM!

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

26 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Trends in wind output (tips to help you make your entry) | WattClarity
  2. Using NEM-Watch to forecast QLD Peak Demand this summer | WattClarity
  3. Will Queensland defy the trend of declining demand? | WattClarity
  4. Weather will play a key role in peak demand in SA this summer | WattClarity
  5. About Snowy’s purchase of the Colongra peaker | WattClarity
  6. Peak summer demand in Tasmania has been consistent (but AEMO’s forecasts vary) | WattClarity
  7. Analysing trends in VIC electricity demand | WattClarity
  8. Recapping prior peaks in NEM-wide demand | WattClarity
  9. Forecasting NSW peak demand is not as easy as it might initially seem – is there a better way? | WattClarity
  10. Where’s the increased output we expected to see with new wind farms? | WattClarity
  11. A hot Thursday forecast for QLD this week – what will it mean for electricity demand? | WattClarity
  12. Queensland electricity demand hits a high mark on Thursday 5th March 2015 | WattClarity
  13. Queensland demand peaks (at a high level) late in the day Thursday 19th March | WattClarity
  14. Some interesting patterns emerge, with the interaction of wind and solar | WattClarity
  15. Peak NEM-wide demand this summer – the lowest in more than 10 years! | WattClarity
  16. So who wins the Main Prize in our competition for summer 2014-15 (Competition #1 of 7) | WattClarity
  17. Victorian peak demand lower by 1,600MW | WattClarity
  18. Victorian peak Summer demand lower by 1,600MW : Renew Economy
  19. Similarly, the NSW summer demand peak failed to arrive | WattClarity
  20. Tassie’s “summer” demand peak comes with cold weather? | WattClarity
  21. Tassie’s “summer” demand peak comes with cold weather : Renew Economy
  22. Wind Peak Production climbs – linearly over 5 successive summers | WattClarity
  23. Wind Peak Production climbs – linearly over 5 successive summers : Renew Economy
  24. Winning a consolation prize (Comp #7) for peak Wind Production | WattClarity
  25. Queensland’s peak demand very close to a new record – more possible next summer? | WattClarity
  26. If your horse did not come in today – here’s a better chance to win a BBQ (and possibly* a bottle of Grange) | WattClarity

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