Articles by Paul McArdle




Earth Hour

“Earth Hour” was a concept developed by the WWF to promote awareness of the risks of climate change. It first ran just in Sydney in 2007, and generated considerable interest,…


Earth Hour 2007 – Impact on Australia’s National Electricity Market

Since the first event in Sydney, 2007, Earth Hour has been held at the same time on two successive years, with an increasing number of locations around the world participating – and still continues to galvanise commentary by supporters and detractors alike. Following the conclusion of Earth Hour 2009, out of interest we thought we’d have a closer look at what happened in Australia’s National Electricity Market over the period of Earth Hour 2007.




Massive Demand, Huge Prices, Load Shedding and the Cumulative Price Threshold (and lessons learnt?)

Wednesday 28th January saw demand across the NEM jump to unprecedented levels, setting a new record of 34,843MW at 16:00 NEM time. On Thursday 29th January, we saw the demand increase still further, leading to prices that stayed high for much of the day (to the point where the Cumulative Price Threshold was reached in VIC and SA and price caps were imposed), and a relatively small amount of involuntary load shedding occurring in VIC and SA.


And the winner for summer 08-09 is…

We noted yesterday, in the midst of the excitement, that the previous NEM-wide demand record had been beaten, by virtue of the heatwave assaulting VIC and SA over the day. We spoke too soon, however, as demand continued to climb through the afternoon.


New record all-time NEM-wide demand (and for VIC and SA) today!

The day is not over yet, but we thought you would be interested in the attached snapshot highlighting the first of the occasions on the day when prices jumped to VOLL in SA and VIC as a result of searing temperatures stopping the tennis, and melting VIC and SA into new demand records for each region.


New record summer demand!

We watched with interest today as demand crept up in all mainland regions to the point where the NEM-Wide demand rose slightly above 33,000MW for the first time ever, during a summer period.



Summer 2008-09 to date

Given that the holidays are now over (for most of us) and we’re returning back to “normal” life, we thought it would be a good time to provide a brief overview of what’s happened in terms of NEM-Wide demand, to date.



Record summer demand in NSW yesterday!

NSW experienced a record summer demand on Thursday 15th January, driven by high temperatures across the state. The extreme weather experienced in NSW followed the extreme weather that swept across South Australia and Victoria only two days beforehand.


A hot day in SA yesterday, and prices soared!

Just as had been forecast, Tuesday 13th January 2009 saw hot, dry weather roll in across South Australia, and then into Victoria. The high temperatures caused demand to climb, but not to the level at which NEMMCO had forecast demand to climb over the summer period. As a result we saw the price in SA jump to a level near VOLL at 13:40, and remain there until about 18:00 (i.e. more than 4 hours).





June in the NEM (a review of 10 years of history)

One of 12 articles on the months past in the NEM. June has brought us several cases of “economic witholding of capacity” – particularly in 2002, and in 2007 the NEM had a very interesting week in which the IRPM plunged to its lowest level ever.