The spot market in the last 45 days
There is no doubt the Australian energy landscape has changed from the trends we had seen in the past. Last time, we pinpointed some factors at play in the fluctuations of demand on the grid – and thereby the spot market, where you as our customer trade your excess solar energy.
Last time we updated you, we hoped to see a shift in demand through winter. And it seems we were on the prize. Across the country, we have seen more and more days with maximum spot prices consistently above the minimum feed-in tariff guarantee.
Broken down by state, we have analysed the maximum value of the spot price from the last 45 days (14/3 – 27/4) and included a day of late February for reference on the trend prior to that point.
It is important to note the below graphs show the maximum value of the spot price for the whole day. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) updates the spot price every 5 minutes, as it reflects how much electricity is being used “right now”, so outside of a specific 5-minute window, the spot price will go up or down depending on the supply and demand of electricity to keep the physical power system in balance.
The spot price in NSW / ACT
The maximum spot value for electricity in New South Wales (and the Australian Capital Territory) has displayed a recovering trend, with a marked peak of $2.67/kWh on Monday, 19 April at 18:30 hrs (local time).
Out of the date range analysed, almost 70% of days had maximums above the state’s minimum guarantee of $6c/kWh, all happening from late March onwards. A similar behaviour was identified for the avg. spot price, ~$4.84c/kWh, with higher values of up to 13c/kWh more recently.
The spot price in QLD
The spot market in Queensland steadily recovered after a clear dip through the end of March and the start of April. Maximum peak electricity prices have consistently remained above the minimum state guarantee from then, with values ranging from $1.67 to $2.51 per kWh – the latter happening on Tuesday, 20 April at 6:30am (local time).
Out of the date range analysed, 78% of days had maximum values above the state’s minimum guarantee of $0.06/kWh. The average price was above this minimum only in 15% of the dates – but the identified peaks show potential for trading with higher revenue margins. Our members in QLD have also been protected from spot prices as low as 2c/kWh with our feed-in tariff guarantee.
The spot price in SA
The South Australian maximum market values have remained the most consistent above the minimum feed-in of $6c/kWh, although the prices are yet to surpass the 40c mark. Out of the date range analysed, 82% of days had maximums above the state’s minimum feed-in guarantee.
37c/kWh has been the maximum spot price for electricity in South Australia during this period, happening on Friday, 16 April at 12pm (local time).
As an added peace of mind, the Members Energy minimum feed-in guarantee ensures our customers in SA received at least 6c/kWh on those days that even the maximum prices went under this guarantee.
The spot price in TAS
The Tasmanian maximum spot value for electricity trended above the minimum feed-in tariff of 8.47c/kWh for almost 38% of the days analysed. The very maximum price of 35c/kWh was achieved on Friday, 19 March at 10am (local time).
More recently, on Wednesday, 21 April at 7:30 in the morning, the market achieved its second-best price of 27c/kWh.
It is worth to mention that thanks to our minimum feed-in guarantee, Members Energy customers in Tasmania received at least 8.47c/kWh even when maximum prices went as low as 3c/kWh.
The spot price in VIC
The recent trend for the maximum spot price in Victoria seems to point towards a steady recovery, with its highest peak during the period analysed happening very recently, on Wednesday, 21 April at 7:30am (local time).
The maximum spot price has consistently surpassed the $10.2c/kWh mark from mid-April. Specifically, last week has been good, with even the avg. spot price trending towards more and more peaks above the minimum state feed-in guarantee. This comes hand in hand with April having the coldest day of the year for VIC so far, bringing an early start to winter (and the electricity demand from heating with it).
How does the trading of your electricity happen?
The Evergen trading platform is the next-generation energy intelligence technology installed in your solar battery. Every few minutes, the system learns and predicts your electricity usage patterns and uses weather forecasts to anticipate your solar production for the next 48 hours. It then uses sophisticated analytics to determine the optimum supply of solar, battery and grid for your home, to save you the maximum amount of money.
The decision of charging, discharging, or selling the energy in your battery is not taken lightly. Your system is constantly learning, so the longer your battery is controlled via Evergen’s software, the better it will learn your energy usage patterns to optimise for future trading.
There is no limit to the amount of spike trading events that can happen in one day, but this will totally depend on the grid’s supply and demand changes at intervals of 5 minutes. Should you have enough excess solar power to trade in the spot market, you will receive 100% of the revenue generated –a benefit like no other in the Australian market.
Just as an example, if you lived in NSW and you had enough excess solar power to sell on April 19th at 6:30pm, when the spot price reached its peak for the day, you would have received $2.67 per kWh exported and sold at that time. As the spot price varies, our minimum feed-in guarantee protects you when the market is not in our favour – there really is a lot of upside with no downside to our energy plan!
Do most Aussie consumers have access to the spot market for selling their excess solar like you?
The straightforward answer is no. Most solar households and small businesses buy and sell electricity through their retailer, not the wholesale market. The Members Energy VPP is a unique energy offering in that sense because you’re able to trade your power where most others are not allowed to.
Australia, at the forefront of innovation in rooftop solar
It wasn’t until 2008 that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) issued the National Principles for Feed-in Tariff Schemes, where all Australian governments agree that small-scale solar generators have the right to export electricity to the grid in return for payment. The scheme has continued to evolve as an increasing amount of rooftop solar PV systems integrate with our infrastructure. According to Gabrielle Kuiper, a distributed energy resources specialist and guest contributor with the Institute for Energy, Economics and Financial Analysis, “Australia is leading the world in innovation around rooftop solar. Yes, we can learn things from overseas, but Australia is really at the forefront”.
At Members Energy, we pride ourselves in our innovation, so we will continue to provide you with the information you need to take power back into your own hands.