Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Molesworth & Featherston (Weekend) – June 17 2006

Molesworth & Featherston - Weekend Update edition


Business and Political News
June 17th 2006
molesworthandfeatherston.info

Direct Link To This Week's Weekend Update Edition:
http://molesworthandfeatherston.info/pdf/MandF17Jun06L.pdf

Transpower
Lights out, no one home

Some of the criticism directed at Transpower after last week’s power cut in Auckland has sounded suspiciously like the Think Big argument that energy infrastructure should be shored up regardless of the cost.

The cut resulted from a broken shackle, though that detail is of little more than engineering interest. The company has been criticised because there was no back-up line into Auckland, and some critics claimed the failure resulted from the generally poor condition and age of the substation.

Transpower says Auckland has relied heavily on Otahuhu for decades. A second substation might be built and development at the Otahuhu site is already planned. But neither of these options will ensure the power never again goes out for a few hours as it did on Monday.

The first economic consideration should be that the cost of back up - or ‘maintenance’ to a no-fail level -- is less than the cost of the outage. The cost of the outage is very high - it’s not only the direct cost of causing businesses to close, mobile phones to fail and the like, but also the loss of confidence that the infrastructure will always be there no matter what.

Despite the high cost of outages it’s likely there will never be a time when it makes sense for Transpower to back up every part of its network. The cost of preventing the odd outage is too high. Do businesses really want to pay higher power prices to ensure there is a back-up transmission line? The next question for Transpower is whether investment in backing up that particular line is the highest priority for capital investment.

Transpower cannot lawfully invest capital willy-nilly. It is strictly price controlled, accountable to one body for its investment decisions and to another for its pricing decisions. No one has yet worked out a practical way to make a business like Transpower’s truly competitive - at least not without creating more problems than exist now. A single failure is not necessarily evidence that a wrong judgement was made - though it’s the closest thing we have. It remains, however, more conspicuous but no more costly than a wrong decision resulting in over-investment.

************

The Weekend Update is a complimentary, condensed edition of the paid-subscription only Governor’s Edition published earlier last week.

UPGRADE TO READ THE EARLY EDITION WITH MORE DEPTH
The ‘Governor’s Edition’ of Molesworth & Featherston is released from its trap deep in the Earth every week.

Bulk subscriptions are available with heavy discounts for organisations to send one to every decision-makers’ in-box.

Just email us for details or secure an individual subscription online through the awardwinning Good-Returns site with your credit card HERE.

Direct Link To This Week's Weekend Update Edition:
http://molesworthandfeatherston.info/pdf/MandF17Jun06L.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news