“There’s a fraction too much friction, yeah
Don’t believe in opposing factions
What we need is some positive action” Tim Finn
Variable renewable energy – wind and solar – has reached more than 20% on a 30 day moving average for the first time.
This is due not just to the rise of wind and solar, which is certainly strong and will continue to increase for at least the next two years.
It’s also due to the seasonally soft nature of demand and the impact that rooftop solar is having on in front of the meter demand.
The weakness of demand for utility scale electricity seems to be getting more pronounced every week:
Comparing FY22 futures with FY20 shows the fall market participants are expecting.
This will matter more to business buyers because for households network costs are essentially flat and represent about 50% of the price paid.
I’d especially draw readers’ attention to South Australia fiscal year 2022 price, which at $67.4/MWh is below NSW and Victoria. FY23 can be ignored as untraded.
It’s easier though perhaps to see why futures prices are falling by looking at the half hourly daily average price profile for the last 40 days compared with the previous corresponding period a year ago. In looking at the charts bear in mind that:
Firstly, NSW is transmission constrained so QLD can export all the power to NSW it would like to. This means lower prices for Queenslanders and higher prices for NSW and perhaps even Victoria.
Similarly, as a result of constant work on the South Australia-Victoria transmission link it, too, is often constrained just now and that pushes down prices (and constrains output) in South Australia, and raises prices in Victoria.
Even so, as big wind farms in Victoria come on line (Stockyard Hill and Mooranbol for instance) and that transmission line work comes to an end you can expect to see Victorian prices ease.
Secondly the price suppression has been seen despite the clapped out NSW coal generation sector basically chugging along at half pace. Replacing some of the coal has been high priced gas.
Things will be different in the March quarter no doubt when demand is seasonally a lot higher.
David Leitch is a regular contributor to Renew Economy. He is principal at ITK, specialising in analysis of electricity, gas and decarbonisation drawn from 33 years experience in stockbroking research & analysis for UBS, JPMorgan and predecessor firms.