Still No Crisis?

Hawea people are losing patience  with the Government’s refusal to admit there’s a power crisis.

The Government must bite the bullet and tell the nation to make a 10% savings on power or endure public shame if it is not achieved, the Lake Hawea Community Association chairman Errol Carr says.

Lake Hawea residents are on high alert as Contact Energy begins this week to draw down Lake Hawea to the emergency level of 336m for the first time in 20 years.

Mr Carr said the lake level was stable at about 338.1, but a public demonstration was likely if residents’ concerns about low lake levels and environmental damage were not heeded.

“If told, I think the South Island would buckle in and do what they can. The Government is saying there is no crisis, but why are we going to emergency generation?”

Because it’s election year and Labour doesn’t want power cuts.

Lower South Island residents have saved the lowest percentage of electricity, recording 3.2%, according to Transpower statistics.

Upper South Island residents have saved the highest percentage nationally, at 4.1%, and the national average savings is 3.6%.

I don’t know how much power is the difference between 3.2%, 3.6% and 4.1%, nor why the Upper South Island beats the national average. – But it’s easy to explain why savings are lower in the lower south: it’s winter, and the further south you go the colder you get. Here,  around the 45th paraellel, yesterday’s frost still hasn’t thawed from shady places and it’s only .5 degrees outside right now.

Mr Carr said while he did not want older people and those with limited heating sources to suffer, the national average was “pretty mediocre” and there was a lot more that could be done.

He attributed the Government’s reluctance to take leadership to a desire to avoid bad news during an election year.

“We would like to see the Government telling the country there is a problem,” Mr Carr said.

And I’d like to see the Government explaining to the country why there is a problem.

3 Responses to Still No Crisis?

  1. truthseekernz says:

    hp: From memory, the power generating system is claimed to have a maximum peak generating capacity of about 8.5GW. Demand is approximately 6.1GW at peak.

    Even if there is no power at all from Lake Hawea, it appears there would be no shortage of power. But it would make the rest of the system more vulnerable to a major generator going offline for any significant length of time.

    powersavers.co.nz’s latest update says the inflows to the lakes are only slightly below average and much higher than in 1992. Apparently, the lake levels are “holding their own”.

  2. homepaddock says:

    TS – you said, “Even if there is no power at all from Lake Hawea, it appears there would be no shortage of power. ”

    Why use it if it’s not needed? Wouldn’t it be better to keep the lake above the minimum level and save the water until it’s required?

  3. Inventory2 says:

    Well said HP – if there is enough capacity elsewhere in the network, then surely there is no justification for lowering the level of Lake Hawea any further, and running the risk of a major environmental catastrophe.

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