Over $1bn is invested in renewable energy but meanwhile NZ must import coal to generate electricity

Two   of  the  Labour  government’s  major  policies are  to reduce  carbon  emissions  in the  battle against  climate change, and  to   produce 100% of  NZ’s  energy from renewable sources.

So   are those  policies   going?

Reports  this week make  it  clear:  poorly.

So  badly,  indeed, that  Energy  Minister Megan  Woods  could be  living  in  la-la  land.

This  was  her  response  to RNZ’s finding  that in the same year  the government declared a climate emergency, imports of an especially dirty type of coal from Indonesia topped a million tonnes for the first time since 2006:

“This government is not been [sic] satisfied with this reliance on fossil fuels and last year we backed up our goal to have a fully renewable electricity grid with a $30m investigation into solving the dry year problem.

“The NZ Battery project is investigating the country’s potential for pumped hydro, as well as comparator technologies, and is progressing well but will take time.” Continue reading “Over $1bn is invested in renewable energy but meanwhile NZ must import coal to generate electricity”

Climate change crusaders press for a Budgetary assault on emissions and pests (but this might stall the Covid recovery)

Radio  NZ   is  reporting  that  climate  change  warriors have  low  expectations  the  budget  will  deliver what is  needed.  Climate lobby groups say that while the need for action to lower emissions and tackle climate change has never been greater, they doubt the government will step up.

It is being pitched as a Covid-19 recovery budget, as the world starts to emerge from 16 months focussed on battling the virus.

 Radio  NZ    quoted Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick as  saying the window for climate action was closing fast. 

“Forget 10 years to sort emissions it’s really only 18 months.  It’s this period last year and this year where governments are making investments, we’ve got to get that right – the pressure is on.” Continue reading “Climate change crusaders press for a Budgetary assault on emissions and pests (but this might stall the Covid recovery)”

If you can now buy a house (thanks to the govt’s policies) you may balk at your power bill (thanks to the govt’s policies)

As  the  Ardern government grapples  with  the  housing  crisis  it inherited — and which  it compounded in its 3 ½  years in office — it looks like it  will have  another  on  its hands in  the  energy  sector.

When   it  sought the  plaudits  of the  climate  change  warriors   and   other  Greenies  by placing a   ban   on exploration   for  natural gas,  it did not  appear to  realise that supplies of   natural gas already were running down fast.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quoted at the time  as  saying “I don’t think  they  (the petroleum exploration industry)  was blindsided”.

She  insisted  the  country  knew  the  Labour Party  wanted to  move away  from fossil  fuels.

So  what  have been  the consequences?

NZ  imported more  coal  in 2020  than in  2017  and 2018  combined. Continue reading “If you can now buy a house (thanks to the govt’s policies) you may balk at your power bill (thanks to the govt’s policies)”

Power, poverty and politics – let’s throw some light on the meaning of “levelling”

The headline on the press statement announcing changes to the charging of electricity was instructive.  It brayed:  Government levels electricity playing field for consumers

Levelling implies that some consumers will benefit at the expense of others.

The first sentence of the press statement suggested otherwise:

“Consumers will benefit from changes to the electricity market that will see a level playing field for smaller independent retailers, greater transparency over the big power companies, increased competition in the market and more support for consumers to shop around for better deals, Minister Megan Woods has announced.”

This should have said “some consumers will benefit… ”

The press statement then said big power companies will be required to sell electricity at affordable rates into the wholesale market to level the playing field for smaller and independent retailers.

This camouflaged the reality that some consumers should brace to pay more for their electricity. Continue reading “Power, poverty and politics – let’s throw some light on the meaning of “levelling””