With summer officially over, it is interesting to note the record temperatures and freakish conditions we saw throughout the season didn’t have the same extreme effect on our power use.
In an article published by ABC News smack-bang in the middle of the heat wave in January, Macquarie Generation – one of Australia’s largest electricity generators and producing the equivalent of roughly 40% of the electricity needed by people in NSW – said the record high temperatures did not set a new summer record for power use.
While NSW officially reached it’s hottest temperatures on record on Friday 18th January (topping in at over 45°C), the operator says that late in the afternoon on that same day - the traditional peak period for power generation – demand was well below previous records. Although power demand spiked from about 4.30 pm, when people start getting home and switching on air-conditioning units, the high range of over 13,700 megawatts was not a summer record, actually coming in at nearly 5% less than previous records, set a few years ago.
The change in power demand can be attributed to a number of factors, not least the switch to more effective energy use. The combination of higher power prices and the availability of more efficient technologies has led to a general reduction in electricity demand over recent years.
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