Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Which, with baroque variations, is the story from the UK domestic energy market.
As we’ve reported before, the market is suffering from the unfortunate conjunction of soaring input prices and a populist price cap. As suppliers collapse into the consumer-funded government safety net, the regulator is thrashing around trying to cobble together a fix which might avoid prices rising to their true level too fast, without offending voters or damaging long-term supply.
Continue reading “Energy markets: the more they change, the more they stay the same”
The clock is ticking on global warming, the Dominion-Post warned this week ahead of the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow.
The opening paragraph of the report was ominous:
“Even after countries — excluding NZ — unveiled ambitious new pledges to cut emissions, it’s still not enough to achieve the global of 1.5 degrees Celsius of climate warming, a new report found.”
The article points out that NZ has been notably absent from the burst of announcements that have been made, but suggests we may make our declaration in Glasgow.
It argues that, as a small economy, NZ’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will not sway the dial much.
But Green co-leader James Shaw, who is representing NZ at the conference, may find anything he says is not greeted with applause. NZ, like Australia, is regarded as a laggard on climate change. Continue reading “NZ has yet to announce climate-warming pledge for Glasgow summit but RBNZ is developing guidance for our finance sector”
Soaring energy bills are a problem for firms, households, and the government. This was a headline in The Economist last week – but it can’t happen here, can it?
After all, NZ has plenty of energy. Unlike Europe, 80% of its electricity is from renewable sources. And according to oil industry authorities, NZ is surrounded by a massive continental shelf — the fifth largest in the world, beneath which lie vast quantities of undiscovered natural gas and, probably, some light oil.
So surely NZ can face the future with confidence?
Well, no: let’s not forget Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had her “non-nuclear” moment and placed a ban on new offshore exploration permits for oil and gas. Since then, as international oil explorers gave up their offshore exploration licences, supplies from existing producing wells have begun to diminish for several reasons.
Higher costs are starting to flow into household and business gas bills. Vector is increasing Ongas LPG cylinders from $115.026 to $125.82. Continue reading “Emergency measures introduced in UK as energy bills soar – and NZ should brace for rising prices, too, thanks to exploration ban”