Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Heather du Plessis-Allan: We allowed the slide to third world electricity supply to happen

Here we go, we might be in for a tough winter again.

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 houses or 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 this is 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.


Anonymous said...

Power companies have said they will need to disconnect some people. Let’s start with all those chardonnay socialists, especially the Greens, who drive home in their EV’s to their 200sqm plus homes containing heat pumps & every appliance & gadget known to man. Higher electricity users deserve to be penalised for their stupidity & hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Nice suggestion Heather, think through the consequences before just shutting stuff. Now let’s just go through a few. Let’s shut down the countries only refinery and the results are, no CO2 for food producers, no bitumen for roads, crappy jet fuel, no planes in the sky.
Let’s turn off all the coal boilers and burn lower energy content wood.
Now the wood doesn’t walk to the boiler on its own it needs to be trucked. So we reduce some CO2 from burning coal and increase CO2 from trucking and ruin the roads in the mean time.
The key word is energy density.
Politicians are not Engineers so why are they allowed to spend taxpayers money on electric arc furnaces when the company running them make billions and could do the work themselves.
Climate activists are dunderheads and guess who listens to dunderheads, yep Politicians!

Spam said...

Sorry Heather. Batteries aren't an effective strategy either.
1.) They need charging, which requires additional / excess power to charge them.
2.) Industrial scale traditional batteries are too expensive and don't hold enough charge.
3.) The government thinks that using pumped hydro as a battery is the solution - it's not. its expensive and 20 years away.
4.) The other battery is hydrogen (yes, it's a battery, not an energy source). We don't yet have the infrastructure for it, and it's also inefficient.

But the underlying point that we should have these solutions in-place before shutting off the reliable generation is well made - it just depends on which time fame you're talking about. If it is 20-30 years, it might be feasible. But as you note - it's not going to save us this winter, or next, or any time within the 2020s.

JamesA said...

The biggest irony of this climate change fraud is that for about 80% of planet Earth's existence, C02 was above 3,000 PPM. When all that lush vegetation grew and those monster dinosaurs roamed the planet. Often it went above 5000PPM, yet the planet along with its plant life and animals that lived on it did just fine.

CO2 is currently at just over 400PPM and if it drops to 160PPM all plant life dies. If plant life dies then all plant-eating animals along with humans will also die.

Where would y'all prefer CO2 levels to be at?

And no - environmentalism and pollution are not part of climate change.

Anonymous said...

Comment about shutting down the refinery: it never met all of NZ’s fuel needs and it was expensive to operate. And consumers want the cheapest fuel. Imports achieve that. This shows the inefficiency of the former NZ refinery compared to the huge scale and efficiency of offshore refineries - which at each transaction point along the way still manage to pour huge profits back to the oil companies.