The NEM (National Electricity Market) covers New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
The cost per kWh of electricity may only have a couple of different pricing points on our electricity bills, for example, peak and off-peak. However, the wholesale market is a different story.
The price (in MWh) can vary wildly, depending on market and environmental conditions. For example, a heatwave can send wholesale prices skyrocketing to more than $12,000 per megawatt hour. That’s $12 a kilowatt hour. The rules of the NEM set a maximum spot price of $13,100/MWh for the 2013-2014 financial year
These wild fluctuations go into account when determining the electricity prices we pay.
NEM Electricity Price/Demand Graphs
The graphs below offer an at-a-glance look in nearly real-time the dispatch (5 minute) electricity price and demand for yesterday and today across the National Electricity Market. These graphs automatically update and come from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) web site.
The red line and left scale indicates the regional reference price per MWh and the green line and right scale indicate electricity demand in MW.
Click image for AEMO’s Victoria electricity price/demand page
New South Wales
Click image for AEMO’s New South Wales electricity price/demand page
Click image for AEMO’s Queensland electricity price/demand page
Click image for AEMO’s South Australia electricity price/demand page
Click image for AEMO’s Tasmania electricity price/demand page
Note that Western Australia does not participate in the NEM. It is in the Wholesale Electricity Market.
The National Electricity Market came into being on 13 December 1998. Tasmania was the last state to join the NEM in May 2005. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) administers and operates the wholesale exchange and manages the security of the grid system.
The NEM supports around 19 million residents and is the longest alternating current system in the world, with 40,000 km of transmission lines and cables. The NEM supplies approximately 200 TWh (200,000,000 megawatt hours) of energy to Australian businesses and households each year.
Trivia : the millions of small scale renewable energy systems installed in/on homes and businesses throughout Australia help rein in the wholesale cost of electricity. In early 2013, it was estimated solar power systems alone were saving between $300 million and $670 million each year in wholesale electricity costs.