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Time for Govt to Review moratorium on thermal

Time for Government to Review Planned moratorium on New Thermal Generation

“The high spot prices of electricity experienced last week and predictions of brown outs and blackouts because of possible electricity shortages should prompt the Government to review its absolute preoccupation with wind energy. The Governments planned moratorium on new thermal generation will seriously aggravate the risk of secure supplies of electricity and create volatile price scenarios,” said Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

“Transpower’s CEO Patrick Strange explained today why generation supply was tight and hence spot prices were very high in particular last Friday. One of the reasons supply was tight on Friday was because calm weather meant no generation was supplied from wind farms.

“We got through last Friday without any loss of supply to meet demand. However as demand for electricity grows coupled with the planned moratorium on new thermal generation currently being considered by Parliament, then there is a high risk we will have blackouts when supply is tight and there is little or no wind.

“The proposed moratorium on new thermal generation is the last thing New Zealand needs because of the risk to electricity supply.

“Building new thermal generation will marginally increase New Zealand’s carbon footprint from a global point of view. This is the reason government is promoting a moratorium on new thermal generation. Climate change policy is complex and needs international solutions. Having a moratorium on new thermal generation in New Zealand does little to solve that global problem when no other country in the world is proposing a similar ban.

“MEUG recommends the government immediately withdraw the draft legislation proposing a moratorium on new thermal generation and re-examine how New Zealand can protect its future supplies of electricity while having policies consistent with those being adopted by our trading parties to manage climate change issues,” concluded Mr Matthes.


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