Power cuts or Powerdown?

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, May 10th, 2024 - 60 comments
Categories: climate change, public transport - Tags: , , ,

From RNZ’s live coverage,

The country has woken to a bitterly cold morning with temperatures dropping as low as -6C in some areas overnight amid threats of power cuts.

Transpower’s executive general manager, Chantelle Bramley, told Morning Report there had been an amazing response from New Zealanders to the request to cut back on their power usage on Friday morning.

“As you know, the situation was very tight; we’ve had really cold weather. We just want to thank New Zealanders for their fantastic response this morning, it has made a huge difference getting us through the morning peak.”

Just pausing here to note the remarkableness of RNZ doing live coverage. This is where we are at now.

It looks like the crisis has been averted, but there are still serious concerns,

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

* Transpower has warned households that unless they conserve electricity, they could face possible power cuts on Friday.

* It said households could help by turning off heaters and lights in unused rooms, delaying using appliances, and not charging devices and cars.

* The time of main concern for power shortages was between 7am and 9am on Friday morning.

* The Major Electricity Users’ Group, which represents big industry, said the sector had freed up about 60 megawatts of power this morning in preparation for the shortage.

* New Zealand’s largest electricity distributor is warning the country to hurry up with controls around charging electric vehicles or face unnecessary bills running into the billions.

* A group representing big industry is warning that appeals to conserve electricity will become more common.

Twitter is aflutter with comments about New Zealand being a third world country, but I’m wondering where everyone has been for the past decade. That our national grid isn’t up to scratch isn’t news. Nor the problems of increasing demand that comes with the necessary shift to electric vehicles. Climate change and what is coming down the line isn’t news either. Nor that our infrastructure won’t cope with the increasingly chaotic nature of weather events.

We’ve also known for a long time that many people live without adequate power supply permanently because of the housing crisis and successive governments’ running the economy with an enforced poverty rate. Imagine living in an uninsulated house in the South Island with -6C temperatures and not being able to afford to turn the heater on when you need to.

I find this explanation for the crisis aversion interesting,

* It said households could help by turning off heaters and lights in unused rooms, delaying using appliances, and not charging devices and cars.

Because this is the bit that so many seem to be missing. We don’t have to use so much power. We can conserve resources. We can live within the limits of the natural world. We could be doing those things now all the time by default.

Powercuts in a wealthy country like New Zealand don’t make us third world. It’s bog standard neoliberalism which has both impeded upkeep of our infrastructure and blocked meaningful climate transition. Third world is when you can’t afford to fix, maintain and futureproof society. Neoliberalism is when you do that by choice.

Which leads me to the Powerdown. The current idea that we can keep ‘growing the economy’ is insane. What that idea means is we can keep increasing our population, which means increasing the demand for electricity, as if there are no natural limits. We can build more wind farms and the Onslow power bank will take some of the pressure off. But what happens when we reach the limits of those because of the growth?

Why is it so hard for people to understand we live on a set of islands with a finite amount of land and resources available for us to use?

Just as importantly, why do so many people think things are going to improve from here on out?

I first wrote about the Powerdown in 2017,

The Powerdown is a process where societies, in the face of climate change and resource depletion, choose to transition to a post-carbon world sustainably. Sustainably, because we cannot have perpetual growth in a physically finite world. Nor can we ecologically afford for the whole world to have Western middle class lifestyles, but instead we must live within the natural limits of the world in a way that allows that natural world to continually restore itself. Counting carbon and reducing it to zero is not enough.

The Powerdown is not based on high tech solutions (although we can continue to use various levels of tech as appropriate), because reliance on high tech as our major approach fails the resilience test and takes too many resources. Instead it looks at providing for human needs by using fewer resources and energy, and designing within whole systems frameworks in order to maintain the least disruption to human life while still giving us a chance at surviving. It isn’t a process where we all end up living in caves or reverting back to some imagined pre-industrial agrarian, nasty, brutish and short existence. Instead we take the best of our knowledge and design systems that enhance life rather than strip-mine it. In other words, we can powerdown and live good, meaningful lives. But yes, it means that we in the West will need to give some things up.

New Zealand’s Overshoot Day this year was April 19th. This means if everyone on the planet lived like us, we would need three planets.

Wondering what my point is here? We don’t have a shortage of electricity. We have excessive demand coupled with unsustainable design and the neoliberalisation of our infrastructure.

The longer we hold onto the fossil fuel fantasy of perpetual growth and keep expecting the neoliberal political economy to make things better, the worse our chances become of getting to live good, meaningful lives. With climate scientists telling us this week to expect climate catastrophe this century if we don’t transition,

If all this seems too much, consider this. Even under neoliberalism we could start to transition. The push for electrified public transport and alternative forms of getting around (walking, biking, ride share) is in part because of the choke point involved in everyone shifting to personal EVs instead. We have no choice about getting off fossil fuels, we do have a choice about whether to do that in a way that makes sense given the material reality of the situation we are in. There is no goose laying a golden egg, but instead we have sustainability design that is giving us new ways of organising like doughnut economics, transition towns, or degrowth. These are the things that both prevent the worse of climate change and build resiliency for us locally to deal with what is already locked in.

When I talk about us having more choice than ever before on how to transition, what I mean is that there are a myriad of things we can support that take us in the right direction. We don’t have to simply sit and rage on the internet about this shit show of a government, nor that we had a potential power crisis averted. Instead we can support local cycling initiatives, we can get involved in our local council’s plans for public transport, we can become members of any number of NGOs and community groups doing the mahi on transition.

Image from the Powerdown.

60 comments on “Power cuts or Powerdown? ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Agree, you make a lot of good points. Get involved. In the Far North Organic horticulture, Papa Kainga housing projects, a big new solar farm with grow space beneath the panels–with more likely–are a thing. Rain water collection systems are the preferred option for a lot of us too.

    More solar and wind generation is needed, and send Rio Tinto packing–talk about corporate welfare.

    Part of the gloom is the deregulation of power by the Natzos when an artificial market of generators and retailers was set up–which basically parasited on the hydro and other infrastructure built up over many years by the NZ working class. Time for a political campaign to return power generation and supply to full public ownership.

    • KJT 1.1

      Yes.

      It is notable the amount of already consented more sustainable power projects that havn't progressed, because power companies have monetary incentives to keep generation capacity down to keep prices high. It is obvious that consents are not the road block.

      The coalition of clowns idea that lifting consenting restrictions will result in more construction of sustainable power generation, is either wishful thinking, or just propaganda, while they sneak in more coal and gas.

      • James Simpson 1.1.1

        It is notable the amount of already consented more sustainable power projects that havn't progressed, because power companies have monetary incentives to keep generation capacity down to keep prices high

        Where is that noted? I would love to review that list so that we can start to campaign and put real political pressure on this practice,

  2. SPC 2

    It would help if we had an Energy Minister who understood the facts.

    A few power plants were doing maintenance (no expectation of this level of cold at this time of year) and we have yet to get battery storage* to the level to cope with calm periods (decline in wind power).

    It is not a total supply issue it is cover – something that requires management* of the market.

    He should listen

    The Consumer Advocacy Council (CAC) said Transpower’s warning was a “timely reminder for the industry and regulators to tackle the problem of securing reliable, year-round renewable energy supply”.

    “The council’s view is that fundamental change is needed to the wholesale market – there must be sufficient renewable energy available all year round.”

    This

    Investments were being made to increase power-generating capacity, Fuge said. That included the new Tauhara geothermal power station which would add 160-170 megawatts.

    Then he adds to the ignorance with this.

    Brown blamed the energy warning on the previous Labour-led Government policies, which focused on moving to more renewable

    Referring to the Paris Agreement, to keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C by reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, Brown said: “Labour New Zealand is all about the bumper sticker and the slogan, which all sounds lovely and gives you warm fuzzies when you’re in Paris, but it doesn’t keep the lights on in New Zealand.”

    The world should note that the Energy Minister is inept and has no intention of abiding by our international commitments.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/power-cuts-possible-amid-grid-crisis-cold-weather-sees-demand-outstrip-supply-transpower-issues-warning/XLJOJZ34ZZDO3MZNWK77DUWKVA/

    The last government doubled the number of homes with solar panels.And 100,000 more heating and insulation installations through Warmer Kiwi Homes.

    At some point solar panels on buildings will come with battery storage.

    These developments are part of managing the extra demand from charging of EV (as would setting some sort of regulation of when this can be done to ease load pressures).

    • mpledger 2.1

      People have to be insane not to charge their cars at night, when rates are cheaper and they don't need to drive them. 7am-9am is when people are driving themselves to work. That car charging thing has to be a garbage, pro-oil talking point.

      Autumn is well known to be a low wind time just like spring is known for its gales.

      • SPC 2.1.1

        Maybe but the issue is longstanding concern to the energy industry – as are data centres.

        Vector

        They would have to build much more capacity than necessary, if EV charging was not smoothed out by Vector being empowered to schedule it.

        It was Vector's job to connect them, not to choose who got connected, between, say, a subdivision or a data centre, or a factory – even though the power down the line was a finite, pressured resource. Vector has almost 600,000 connections, almost twice as many as the next biggest power distributor.

        "The Electricity Authority, Commerce Commission, MBIE, ECA – there's no one that has been defined as making those kind of critical decisions," Mackenzie said.

        "If we look at what's happened in the UK, they've put in a specific agency. They have essentially mandated those types of things.

        "It's not a criticism of the existing agency. It's basically around saying we need to have a much more coordinated approach."

        The government last month promised to set up a cross-agency taskforce to engage with industry.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/516449/govt-must-regulate-to-smooth-evs-and-data-centres-demand-on-power-grids-vector

        • mpledger 2.1.1.1

          Vector's problem (as it was told to me when they were advocating for reducing solar power buy back) was peak load. EVs don't interfere with peak load because the energy is being discharged at peak time not being sucked out of the system.

          Vector shouldn't have been so opposed to domestic solar power because it's a source of power for all the new electrical devices and happens where it's needed e.g. where people live not halfway across the country.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.2

        Another attack on EVs did fit the Natzo mold. They want more fossil extraction and use.

        Lots of variables in the mix of course. We charge our EV in the day time as we have a bunch of North facing solar panels, storage battery and inverter, and at night if there has been minimal sun during the day.

        The charging stations are obviously necessary, but the ideal is more dwellings equipped with solar.

        • mpledger 2.1.2.1

          Yea, we charge in the daytime with solar panels as well. I say our car runs on sunshine.

    • georgecom 2.2

      little simple Simeon fails to struggle to grasp most complex things it seems. We are walking a fine line between the absolute need to reduce CHGs and maintaining energy. Regards CHGs SS and his govt have agreed to keep 2050 commotments in place but articulated no strategy how to get there. Lake Onslow is a strategy albeit a costly one. SS is setting us up to either be paying tens of billions of $$$ to foreign entities in carbon penalties or rolling winter brown outs. Best solution it seems is (little simeon) Brown out, now.

  3. Jimmy 3

    It worries me that less than 3% of vehicles on the road are EV's and PHEV's (around 107,000). Is the power grid going to be able to cope if we increase these to say 7% or 10% of vehicles?

    • SPC 3.1

      If the demand is predictable … and the grid can allocate for it.

      • Gristle 3.1.1

        Totally wrong. The electricity demand for Friday was predictable and the supply was not there, hence the grid emergency.

        For me the most interesting issue that comes out of these types of events is that the government and electricity sector suddenly abandon market making, tariff setting, regulation etc and have to rely on people acting as a community and using non monetary factors to make decisions to help the community/society. Margaret Thatcher should choke on her words.

        • SPC 3.1.1.1

          We were not discussing Friday, but regulation of charging times with the growth of the EV market.

    • David 3.2

      I think hydrogen may well be an answer. The current battery technology won’t be sustainable with the current minerals required even if we had the power supply

      • Belladonna 3.2.1

        You have a good point over the mineral requirements for batteries. However, there is no difference between the power requirements for hydrogen generation (requiring electricity) and battery storage (requiring electricity).

        • KJT 3.2.1.1

          Oh. Yes there is.

          Battery Electric Vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell: Efficiency Comparison (insideevs.com)

          Hydrogen instead of batteries for land transport, makes no sense.

          • Belladonna 3.2.1.1.1

            My understanding is that hydrogen has been implemented (at least in NZ) for trucks – for which there is currently no battery option.

            Nor does your article discuss the eco-costs of creating the batteries (mining for minerals, etc.)

            However. The point remains, both hydrogen and battery require electricity to operate. Whether one is more efficient in operation is an entirely different discussion. If there is no green electricity source – then these are not green alternatives.

            • KJT 3.2.1.1.1.1

              There is no battery option currently for long haul trucks. There is, for trucks from ports or rail depots to customers. Where batteries will work fine.

              Long haul trucking being both environmental and economically efficient, the alternatives are electrified rail and/or shipping. Not continuing the same inefficiency with hydrogen.

              More sustainability requires a paradigm shift. Not simply replacing inefficient long haul diesel trucks, with inefficient and expensive battery or hydrogen trucks.

              The short sightedness of the current Government. 26 billion on roads for truck FFS. I suspect it has more to do with trucking firms funding National, and MP'S after politics directorships, than any rational assessment of future transport needs.

              The canning of the inter Island rail link for example. A case of environmental and economic vandalism which will cost us all much more than 3 billion in future.

              The long delayed electrification of rail has cost us, in imported fuel (for both trucks and trains) and pollution, many times more than it would have cost initially. Don’t require batteries!

              The crokodile tears over the effects of mining for battery components is a common petrol head meme. Where is the same concerns over all the kids dead from mining hydrocarbons? From the pollution from hydrocarbon use? From those killed in the constant wars to keep fuel costs low?

        • Gristle 3.2.1.2

          What is hydrogen the answer to? It almost certainly isn't for small vehicles. Distribution and storage of hydrogen is extremely problematic with high losses and damage to containment vessels being intrinsic to the nature of the hydrogen.

          As to rare earth minerals being the cornerstone of batteries, battery chemistry is evolving very rapidly and this is but a transitory issue.

          • Belladonna 3.2.1.2.1

            ATM hydrogen seems to be the answer to non-oil power for heavy trucks – or at least that's what it seems to be used for in NZ.

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/green-hydrogen-fuelling-has-arrived-in-the-north-island-for-heavy-transport/SWG44H7VVBFYLIPTMJDKWK36U4/

            Even if (and it doesn't seem at all likely in practice) the majority of heavy transport switched to trains (and the trains were all electrified), you'd still need trucks to shift goods from the train depots to where people actually want to use them. ATM that is overwhelmingly diesel powered.

            My understanding is that the current generation of batteries are nothing like powerful enough for heavy transport.

            Battery chemistry is indeed evolving rapidly – but it doesn't seem to be moving away from the need for rare (or relatively rare) earth minerals.

    • KJT 3.3

      The grid will cope fine.

      If EV chargers are controlled to low demand times, as we do now with many hot water cylinders and other loads.

      • Belladonna 3.3.1

        Well, it would be nice if it happens. It doesn't. And I don't see any mechanism for making it happen (there is already a cost advantage for charging during low use periods – but if that doesn't motivate wealthy EV owners, why should they accept controlling).
        It would also have been nice if the requirement for gaining the EV subsidy required the installation of solar panels for charging (it didn't)

        • KJT 3.3.1.1

          Individual solar panels is likely an inefficient and expensive route to more sustainable power.

          Economies of scale apply just as much to solar, wind and hydro as they do to gas, coal and diesel plants.

          • Belladonna 3.3.1.1.1

            However, the wealthy people who took up the EV subsidy – could certainly afford to pay for the electricity generation that their cars required. Adding to the generation capacity of the country, rather than using it up.

            • KJT 3.3.1.1.1.1

              They already pay.

              Through the nose, like all of us, to pay for the botched electricity "reforms".

              Why don’t you ask why diesal trucks only pay a fraction of their true costs?

              • Belladonna

                Perhaps you can point to the payment that EV owners (the ones benefiting from the subsidy) – contributed to growing the national grid.

                Because, as far as I can see, it was sweet FA.

                Note: people qualifying for the EV subsidy were certainly not on the bones of their arse; as they were well able to afford prices in excess of 60K for a new EV.

                I feel considerably more sympathy for people on the minimum wage, who are struggling to pay the power-bill, and deal with potential brownouts; than I do for wealthy EV owners.

                But you do you.

                Note: diesel truck owners have nothing to do with electricity pricing or availability. But, hey a squirrel!

                • KJT

                  I feel considerably more sympathy for people on the minimum wage,

                  Yeah sure. As I said, crocodile tears. No right wing propagandist, like you, really gives a flying fuck about "the poor" who will suffer disproportionately from the costs of lack of sustainability.

                  We all, including those paying for electricity for electric cars, are paying twice for the grid and generation.

                  We paid initially for it through taxes up until the 80's. Now we are paying again for the spending on privatisation re-buying them. And again for the costs of the deliberate shortages of generation that Bradfords "reforms" caused.

                  Electric car owners, like all of us, are paying more than enough for power and the grid.

                  Lastly the huge subsidies for roads for trucks, removes a lot of the capital, tax dollars and borrowing, that we could well do with for more sustainable options.

  4. Kay 4

    I suppose that one advantage (?) to being poor in NZ, is out of necessity we've been rationing our power use for many years. Nothing new here. Personally, until recently I wouldn't turn on the heater in the lounge until it dropped to 7C. Now that I'm older and sorer, I'll turn it on at 10C, and even allow my bedroom to stay heated overnight.

    I will certainly vouch for the effectiveness of the mandatory healthy homes legislation- even though a lot of my old drafty place is exempt from insulation because it's physically impossible, the work done on it has sealed the gaps so well that I need less heating.

    • alwyn 4.1

      I suggest that you read this.

      " Try and keep the temperature between 18 and 21 degrees especially if you have babies, people with illnesses, or older people living in your home."

      Ten degrees is a dangerously low temperature.

      https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/brochures/keeping-warm-healthy.html#:~:text=Try%20and%20keep%20the%20temperature,people%20living%20in%20your%20home.

      • weka 4.1.1

        snort, no shit. You think reading that will somehow magic up some money for power bills?

        • Wellsy 4.1.1.1

          I agree, Weta. Those of us trying to conserve money don’t need to be told to conserve power during what is actually a ‘seasonal’ cold snap in mid May. I try not to use heating until at least June, but May gets cold. Every year. That’s what dressing gowns, socks and jumpers used to be for.

      • Kay 4.1.2

        Um… yeah, I'm well aware of that Alwyn. Being poor doesn't always equal ignorance. I tell you what, you go onto our income and see how quickly your heating rationing kicks in, and get back to us, ok?

        PS. 11C as I sit here and type, and yeah, I’m cold. But the heater won’t go on until 6pm. But this is exactly what you want, isn’t it?

      • SPC 4.1.3

        She might be referring to the outdoor temperature – but clothes on and rug up is old school. It does require keeping the place dry (or use of a dehumidifyer).

        For the poor, there is thermal curtains or Venetian blind fronts with boards behind them (if the room has other windows).

  5. SPC 6

    DPF on Kiwiblog passes on the Brown talking point that it was all about the oil and gas exploration ban.

    As if the governments return to the old policy – carbon carbon – cookie monster wants carbon – would fix it all.

    One little problem

    I am an expert so I know

    CJames

    No again Ian The shortage of gas is because they haven’t got rigs to do workovers of existing wells. Those big rigs usually come here for a programme. Couple of exploration wells, maybe an infill well and workovers. No exploration and a government that wanted gas gone so why spend the $100M or so to bring a rig here?

    meets na, you do not know enough

    Master Mariner

    Valaris 107 Jack up was the last Rig to come and do a
    Work over and departed NZ start of this year. A lot of this work is because of Permit holder requirement, ie Must do a Drilling campaign in order to retain Permit. This will be the last Drilling Campaign for a long time , Regardless what Shane Jones says. … Let that sink in.Mean while all Rigs are fully utilised due too the short fall in investment.Think all the Green new Deals etc). Its a World wide trend in the West

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2024/05/thanks_labour.html

    • KJT 6.1

      The shortage of energy! is because privatised power has locked in incentives to keep generating capacity low with associated power shortages to keep prices and profits high.

      Nothing to do with Greens or even the last Labour Government. Who were attempting to re kick start the sustainable energy projects, many of which were permitted before the Key Government short circuited the process.

    • tc 6.2

      Yes simeon is very comfortable pushing the BS lines blaming the prior govt yet no jonolist asks about why they cancelled pumped hydro.

      Really tired of the lack of basic questions from our useless media I mean how the f does a lack of oil and gas exploration in the last few years solve electricity demand in 2024 !

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2.1

        100% – this band of wreckers have cancelled longterm national infrastructure and can only substitute with negative, wet and whiny.

    • georgecom 6.3

      the simple truth is during the Key Govt years there was drilling in the great southern basin east of canterbury and the wells were dry. only productive area found has been taranaki. So then it must be the National Governments fault and that they caused the wells to be dry ay

  6. Michael 7

    You're right: it is neoliberalism – in particular its practice of letting people in control of energy companies cream off dividends, profits and executive pay, instead of investing in infrastructure – that results in systemic shortages of supply. But you seem to overlook that, for the last six years, a "Labour" government was nominally in office and did nothing to curb capitalist greed.

    • SPC 7.1

      Labour did organise a system for managing the risk of a shortage of supply event and also the work of developing spare capacity (battery storage NI and Onslow SI).

      And also co-operation to ensure investment in renewable energy.

      https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/first-its-kind-climate-fund-back-100-renewable-electricity

      • Bearded Git 7.1.1

        In the article below you can see that a 680MW battery storage facility in Menifee, California, can be built for US$1 billion…lets say NZ$1.7 billion. But once the stored power is used up presumably it has to be recharged the next day or days.Battery storage power is available at the flick of a switch.

        My understanding is that Lake Onslow will provide 1000MW of instant power for NZ$15.7 billion, including a new power station. This power will be available immediately day after day as long as it is needed and throughout a several month period where the lake levels are low.

        https://patch.com/california/murrieta/massive-battery-storage-facility-nears-completion-menifee

        It may well be, and I HAVE NO EXPERT KNOWLEDGE HERE, that due to recharging constraints, you need to construct say 5000MW of grid battery storage to give the same cover to the grid as Lake Onslow. That would cost around NZ$12.5 billion using the Menifee costs. But that is at today's prices. Battery storage is getting rapidly cheaper, and such storage can be built close to where the power is most needed.

        It seems to me that battery storage is very likely to be a cheaper source of backup power than Lake Onslow, if not now then in 5-10 years, and getting cheaper still after that. And, as I said above, closing the aluminium plant would give us those 5-10 years.

        California is already installing grid battery storage big-time, which tends to support the above conclusion.

    • weka 7.2

      But you seem to overlook that, for the last six years, a "Labour" government was nominally in office and did nothing to curb capitalist greed.

      Not sure why you think I've overlooked that. Labour run centre left neoliberal governments and have culpability for the current situation. I haven't said any different.

      But there are matters of degree. At least Labour were turned and looking in the right direction and trying to do some things. National are regressive on climate, future proofing, and public spending on the common good.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.3

      Yep, and when profit – not service – is your goal, when supply gets tight, you sell what limited power you have for a higher price, keeping profits, exec pay and dividends healthy. Market Economics 101 – when profit is the only outcome, you can get some bad outcomes.

  7. Ad 8

    Over a third of our electricity use comes from:

    – Tiwai point smelter

    – Bluescope Steel Glenbrook

    – 4 pulp and paper and printing plants

    – 12 milk plants

    – 2 fertilizer companies and 2 cement companies

    No need to blame neoliberalism.

    These are the companies that make up much of our exports. Which pay much of our taxes.

    The best alternative to those exports we've found in 50 years is tourism: jetfuel which isn't yet calculated in our carbon liability.

    Powering any of them down is a shock we won't recover from.

    • weka 8.1

      That economy won't survive climate collapse. You speak as if we can simply choose to carry on BAU and have things work out. That's not on the table.

      So is this really what we are going to do? Condemn younger generations to chaos and suffering in a scale that will make Gaza pale into comparison, because we feign lack of imagination and will to make the necessary changes now?

      • KJT 8.1.1

        A feature of Neo-Liberal right wing accountancy.

        An emphasis on the cost of doing or having something, especially state provision, combined with a congenital inability to see the cost of NOT having it.

        They apply this to power infrastructure as much as they apply it to health, education and other public goods.

        It only has value if they profit from it.

  8. Mike the Lefty 9

    It seems to my cynical little mind that the present government is looking for scapegoats for its own cockups and consequential lack of action over our past, present and future energy production and requirements.

    It all began with the Rogernome government in the 1980s, picked up enthusiastically by the next National government.

    You could point to many individual actions: abolishing the Ministry of Energy in 1990, Power Boards having to pay income tax in 1987, separation of electricity generators and distributors, divide up and eventual sell off of Electrocorp.

    In short, electricity became a business instead of being an essential service, like what Bolger's National government tried to do with public health in the early 1990s. The business moguls were absolutely delighted and dollars signs were in their eyes when they realised how much money was to be made from every New Zealander.

    In its relentless drive to deregulate and privatise electricity overseen by (Mad) Max Bradford, any criticism from independent bodies was either ignored or buried. They promised that electricity would continue to be available at the lowest cost to the economy… Note that was THE ECONOMY, not the CONSUMER, which people didn’t realise the significance of the difference at the time.

    There is a good article on the process of electricity reform from the mid 1980s to 2014 available below. This is where the problems all started.

    http://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/2ba6419674/chronology-of-nz-electricity-reform.pdf

  9. roblogic 10

    Obligatory (doomed) plug for nuclear. Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good and practical.

    Why Leaving Nuclear Energy Behind is the Wrong Choice – Berkeley Economic Review

    Nuclear energy is comparable with wind and solar both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and safety, and considerably better than all types of fossil fuels. Coal, oil, and natural gas emit 820, 720, and 490 tons of carbon dioxide per gigawatt-hour of electricity generated respectively, and wind, solar, and nuclear energy emit 4, 5, and 3 tons respectively. The death rates from accidents and air pollution per terawatt-hour for coal, oil, and natural gas are 24.6, 18.4, and 2.8 respectively, whereas for wind, solar, and nuclear energy, the values are 0.04, 0.02, 0.03 respectively.

    • Incognito 10.1

      The new Dutch coalition government is planning to build four new nuclear power plants in addition to the one existing plant in the province Zeeland.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-05-25T06:10:16+00:00