Articles by Paul McArdle

Volatility in the market over winter 2007

Our Managing Director spoke at the “Australian Energy & Utility Summit 08” in Sydney on Tuesday 22nd July 2008, touching on issues including the extremes of price volatility that were experienced over winter 2007.


“Power Prices Jump in Eye of the Storm”, from the AFR

Following from an alert to the situation provided by NEM-Watch, Duncan Hughes published an article “Power Price Jump in Eye of the Storm” that mentioned the extremely low levels of NEM-Wide Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin (IRPM) that had occurred for a 60-minute period over both days.


Cost of congestion to energy users

For the EUAA’s Members Meeting (held in Brisbane on 24th April 2008), our Managing Director was invited to provide of a précis of the presentation he previously provided at the “QLD Energy” conference (on 12th March 2008).

In particular, comments made by Paul with respect to the proposed upgrade to QNI – which was topical at the time of the conference, given that Powerlink and TransGrid had released their analysis of several upgrade options in the same week as the conference.

As a result of the presentation, Duncan Hughes wrote an article about the potential cost to energy users of the upgrade, and published this in the Australian Financial Review on 13th March 2008.

Given the magnitude of the numbers reported, this issue has proved to be of significant issue to large energy users – hence the invitation to present at the Member’s Meeting.



Links to external reports relating to the blackout

Following from the blackout, several government bodies, and industry organisations completed reviews of the events leading up to the blackout. For completeness, these reports (at least, those we are aware of) have been listed in this article.





Analysis of price volatility in the QLD region over summer 2007-08

Our Managing Director was asked to speak at the “Queensland Energy” conference in Brisbane on Wednesday 12th March – specifically addressing the topic of price volatility in the NEM.

To provide the basis of discussion during the conference, we focused our analysis solely on Queensland region (to make the topic more manageable).
In our review of volatility in the Queensland region, we focused specifically on 3 core attributes of the market: Queensland dispatch prices; NEM-Wide Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin; and the concept of “Economic Islands”.





Drought of 2007

Here’s some articles about the impact of the drought on the NEM – culminating in a stepped change in prices, and changes to dispatch patterns, etc…


Background information to the shortage of capacity in winter 2007

Following from the interest generated in the article published in the AFR, we completed some analysis of the trend in IRPM over the history of the NEM up until June 2007.

The results of this analysis revealed that at no time before 2007 had the IRPM even dropped below 12% and that, except for the 2-day period (19th and 20th June) the IRPM had not dropped below 10%.