What is dispatchable supply?

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When we talk about dispatchable supply, we are referring to sources of energy generation - usually fossil fuels (coal and gas-fired power plants) or hydropower - that can be switched on or off on short notice.

On a hot summer night, when everyone has their A/C on, the grid can struggle a bit to keep up with the demand (particularly when wind or solar generation is low). Dispatchable supply is necessary to keep the lights on - and the generators know it, charging top dollar for their power. This is what leads to price spikes.

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