Our Analysis of the Grid

Analysing our Energy Options

An energy model of the National Electricity Market (NEM) has been created by Dr Robert Barr of Electric Power Consulting

This model compares the energy outputs of any range of generating devices with the grid demand. The demand takes the actual profile over three years from January 2017 through to January 2020 at half hourly intervals. This typically represents an annual metered system load not including behind the meter roof top solar of about 183 Terrawatt Hours (TWh)

Wind and solar energy outputs and installed capacities over this period were obtained from the Australian Energy Market Operator. This enables a “trace” to be created that can be matched to any desired increase or decrease in wind and solar generating capacity. For example, in the three years in question the NEM had ongoing increases in wind and solar capacity which are matched to actual generation output at that time.

Using the actual renewables output “trace” means the model automatically accounts for seasonal changes in solar output and wind fluctuations over a three year period. It captures for example the June 2017 wind drought. Three years is a significant sampling period however, longer durations will result in greater fluctuations caused by even longer wind droughts, extended El Nino or La Nina events and other drivers of weather patterns.