Graph of the Day: Wind hits 91% of demand in South Oz

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Wind energy accounted for up to 91 per cent of demand in South Australia in this week’s big blow.

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On Thursday we published a graph of the day noting how wind energy accounted for two thirds of generation in South Australia over the three days from Monday through to Wednesday – and a record amount for the National Electricity Market as a whole.

Here’s another two graphs, highlighting how wind energy hit 91 per cent of demand in South Australia at 3am on the morning of June 26.

The graphs come courtesy of Hugh Saddler, at energy consulting firm Pitt&Sherry. The crucial point is at 3am on June 26, when the green line (wind energy) nearly meets the red line (demand). The brown line represents wind plus coal (a small amount of coal is used), and the blue line is wind plus coal plus gas.

sa wind 91 2Saddler notes that the graph underlines the importance of the interconnector to Victoria, and more broadly for the integration of renewable energy (the same issues emerge in Denmark, Germany and the Iberian peninsula).

When wind was 91% of demand, generation in total was much higher than demand and there were big flows to Victoria, as there were at other times when total output exceeded demand. When demand exceeds available production, South Australia will import electricity from Victoria, as it has done for decades.

This graph is a different representation. It shows the baseline of coal (brown), with gas taking production up to the blue line, and wind accounting for the rest (up to green line).

sa wind gas

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  1. icefest 5 years ago

    Those graphs are quite confusing. They’re stacked area plots that have not been filled in, making them look like a simple line plot and resulting in incorrect values if you read them as such.

  2. Murphy 5 years ago

    Add storage to balance peaks and troughs is the approach we use at home to keep storage costs down while building toward excess solar/wind output. Batteries are our current option.

    Molten salt, or as we are experimenting with at home, hydrogen generation via PEM fuel cell technology another option.

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