Here we go, we might be in for a tough winteragain.
Transpower is already warning us that they might have to ask us to turn off our appliances at peak times in the morning and winter on really cold days. Otherwise, they might have to cut power to housesor end up with blackouts for days.
Because we might have a really tight power supply again this winter.
It’s already got tight three times this month; Last Tuesday, the Thursday before and Tuesday two weeks ago. And it’s only autumn.
The problem is climate change. The climate change luvvies are going to hate this, but it’s the truth.
We have gone so hard on decarbonising our economy that we now have too many EVs plugged in and not enough electricity coming down the line.
The problem is that New Zealand doesn’t want to run out of gas and coal to create electricity anymore, so we’re increasingly relying on wind and water.
Which is fine. Until the lakes are low or the wind drops off, which can actually happen on very cold days.
Then we need to fire up Huntly and the gas stations, but the trouble is they take a long time, sometimes 12 hours or more. By then, power’s off.
Sometimes, the companies who own Huntly and the gas stations don’t want to turn them on. Because it could be a false alarm and then it costs them money and they don’t get paid for it.
So we’ve got two solutions left to us.
Number one- build enough batteries that can tide us over, but that’s years away.
Which means we’ve only got number two- managing demand. As in asking you and I and big electricity users like manufacturers to turn the power of when there’s not enough of it.
How third world is that?
But the weird thing about thisis we didn’t end up sliding closer to third world electricity supply because of some unfortunate event out of our control.
We ended up sliding closer to third world electricity supply because we forced this to happen.
Look, it’s abundantly clear that the climate luvvies are going to chase decarbonisation come hell or high water.
But couldn’t they have got the replacement batteries ready before they started forcing things off, so we could at least have guaranteed electricity supply on cold days?
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
Back in 2017 , when New Zealand’s economy was being described as a “rock star”, the opposition Labour Party railed against the role being pl...
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