Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Electricity Supply Risk Increased

The risk of electricity supply shortages has increased as inflows to New Zealand's hydroelectric lakes have remained below average, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

"With no signs of the current weather pattern changing in the near future, there is now a moderate risk of blackouts in in September or October if inflows remain low," Mr Hodgson said. "Hydro storage levels are now a cause for considerable concern."

Hydro storage yesterday (26 July) was 55 percent of average. The key lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, which together account for 60 percent of national hydro storage, were 37 percent and 42 percent full, respectively. Storage totalled 1323 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of electricity yesterday, compared to the maximum storage capacity of 4267 GWh. It is still significantly above the low point of about 500 GWh reached in 1992, however.

Mr Hodgson will meet electricity industry stakeholders at 3pm today to discuss possible responses to the prospect of supply shortages. Participants will include electricity industry representatives, Transpower, consumer groups, the wholesale electricity market operator M-co and officials.

"The Government's primary concern is to ensure a secure supply of electricity," Mr Hodgson said. "While high wholesale electricity prices are a concern, they are essentially a symptom of the underlying supply problem. Wholesale prices will come down when the supply situation improves."

Mr Hodgson said a key lesson from the 1992 electricity crisis was the importance of releasing information on the supply situation early so that the public and business became aware of the risk before it was too late to respond effectively.

"I have been releasing regular updates on the electricity supply situation since early June and I am satisfied that New Zealanders are alert to the risk we now face. I intend to keep up the flow of information in the coming weeks to ensure the nation is not taken by surprise the way it was in 1992, when the issue only became news when the lakes were at their lowest.

"Information is no longer enough, however, and I expect to be able to announce further initiatives after today's meeting."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news