Current trends of energy use won’t be sustainable when New Zealand relies only on renewable energy:
. . . Energy Research Centre co-director Michael Jack said the infrastructure and market structures needed to change.
“Wind is variable. It’s only generating when the wind blows.
“Solar is generating during the middle of the day, when there’s less demand for it.
Hydro generation is more reliable, except when droughts decrease river flows, but the chances of getting new hydro schemes through the consent process are remote.
“What you need to do is either shift your demand to those time when the renewables are being produced or somehow store those renewables for use at later times,” he said. . .
Improved technology could provide better storage, but is unlikely to come up with something affordable in the near future.
He said if changes were not made, the switch to completely renewable energy would be costly.
Of course it will be costly and that will hit poorer people hardest.
This is another reminder of how ill-advised the government was to rush into the ban on oil and gas exploration.
Apropos of which, this week we learned that not only did the government rush into the ban, it’s also going to be rushing the select committee process:
PEPANZ says it is undemocratic and deeply unfair for the select committee considering changes to oil and gas legislation to have its consultation period slashed to just four weeks.
“Given the strong public interest and enormous ramifications of this decision, it’s crucial this process isn’t rushed,” says PEPANZ CEO Cameron Madgwick.
“Our industry doesn’t want a Block Offer this year if it means an undemocratic process. This means there should be no reason now for urgency.
“There has already been a shocking lack of consultation since the surprise announcement was made in April. To now slash the consultation time doesn’t seem fair, open or transparent to the communities, workers, and iwi directly affected.
“Given some of the outrageous comments from relevant MPs in the debate tonight, we have little confidence in a fair hearing from the Environment Select Committee. This is especially so in such a short timeframe which gives so little time for MPs to consider evidence and write a properly informed report.
“The legislative changes in the bill involves serious economic and environmental issues and go even further than expected. There needs to be proper scrutiny of the impacts through a normal four to six month select committee process.
“The entire process has been a disgrace with no warning, no consultation and the Government trashing their own expert advice on the devastating impacts of this policy.”
Why the rush?
Because the decision is made and the government has no wish to hear the facts submitters will put up to prove the economic, environmental and social damage the ban will do.