Subject: Response to #51
Date: 2010-10-30 (at 15:39:11)
No nuclear here - don't see how to be any clearer on this without being silly about it.
In relation to hard data on demand breakdown, this remains a problematic area. That one quarter of use is residential
comes from an ABARE report. That the residential portion of total load increases significantly above one quarter when air conditioner use is high is not something we have solid numbers on, but is something we have heard from people who should know. As this is the story area of the site, it admits such levels of evidence. Very happy to pin this claim down more specifically if anyone can help.
We'd really like to have good data on the demand breakdown (including temporally), but so far as I know such data is not freely available. Note that there are some reasonable estimates of what constitutes residential demand in this government commissioned report Energy Use In The Australian Residential Sector 1986 - 2020 [html cover page; report itself is 28 MB]
As for electric cars, my guess is this will happen very slowly. And it seems unlikely these will add much to peak demand (rather, they will be explicitly managed to charge off-peak). Certainly with Time of Use pricing it is hard to imagine that many electric vehicle owners would be charging at peak rates. Consider SA, where the overall demand ranges from around 1 GW to over 3 GW; even during the heatwaves when demand rises above 3 GW every day, it then drops back to 2 GW or less overnight (see data viewer linked off front page).