Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Hydro Power Reserve Will Stop Future Power Crises

Two power crises within a decade raises the possible need for a strategic hydro power reserve says a Waikato University researcher.

Dr Earl Bardsley, an Energy Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences, says New Zealand should investigate building a strategic hydro reserve as a "national insurance against hydro drought."

"We unfortunately learned little from the 1992 crisis," says Dr Bardsely.

"The low lake inflows then were dismissed as an unfortunate, but rare occurrence. We can either maintain the attitude that we are just unlucky to have experienced two power crises less that 10 years apart, or we can investigate the possibility that we are entering a different climatic regime where hydro crises occur far more regularly."

"We should move to develop buffers against electricity shortages," urges Dr Bardsley.

Dr Bardsley points out that creating a reserve would require a huge upfront investment, but once in place would protect New Zealand from future shortages.

"An environmentally-invisible solution would be to create a labyrinth of underground water storage caverns at high altitude beneath Fiordland. The idea being that the amount of reserve energy stored increases with the elevation of the stored water," suggests Dr Bardsley.

"The North Island does not have the good-quality granitic rocks needed for extensive cavern construction. However, a strategic hydro reserve of a different kind might be created by having a dense network of wells in position to extract the large groundwater reserves in the rocks to the east of Lake Taupo."

The mechanism of creating a strategic hydro reserve (in whatever form) could probably be achieved by modifying the electricity market to allow electricity utilities to earn income from creating and maintaining new hydro storage says Dr Bardsley.

ENDS

For further information contact:

Dr Earl Bardsley Department of Earth Sciences Phone: 07 856 2889 ext 5011 Home: 07 8561246.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Climate Summary: NZ’s Equal-2nd Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C above the annual average) across the majority of New Zealand... 2018 was the equal 2nd-warmest year on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which began in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

GDP: Economic Growth Dampens In The September Quarter

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.3 percent in the September 2018 quarter, down from 1.0 percent in the previous quarter, Stats NZ said today... GDP per capita was flat in the September 2018 quarter, following an increase of 0.5 percent in the June 2018 quarter. More>>

ALSO:

Up $1.20: $17.70 Minimum Wage For 2019

Coalition Government signals how it will move toward its goal of a $20 p/h minimum wage by 2021... “Today we are announcing that the minimum wage will increase to $17.70 an hour on 1 April 2019." More>>

ALSO:

Retail: IKEA To Open In New Zealand

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is today announcing its intentions to grant the Ingka Group exclusive rights to explore expansion opportunities in New Zealand. More>>