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NZ security of energy supply in trouble

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Energy Spokesman

29 September 2008

NZ security of energy supply in trouble

National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the security of New Zealand’s energy supply continues to be a significant issue and a driver of significant costs to both householders and business.

“Constraints on electricity transmission from generation source to end user in the months of July and August appear likely to continue unless there is a change of approach.”

Mr Brownlee is commenting after reports this morning that South Islanders face years of soaring power prices until North Island transmission bottlenecks clear and the new inter-island link opens.

According to those reports, South Islanders can expect power prices to rise each year for at least another four or five years, and the pace of those southern price rises will outstrip those in the North Island.

“The failure to invest in transmission projects, both large and small, have effectively divided the North and South Islands into two separate markets.

“The Electricity Commission, which was established by the Labour Government in 2003, is substantially responsible for this disgraceful situation.

“This was a bureaucracy set up by Labour to guarantee security of supply, but it appears to have done nothing of the sort.”

Mr Brownlee says it has been known for years that the HVDC link from the North to the South Island needed to be upgraded, but the serious problems were kept secret until it became uninsurable.

“The Electricity Commission has cost power users some $230 million over the past four years and the transmission infrastructure is in a shambles.”

Mr Brownlee says National has announced an energy policy that maintains an unrelenting focus on security of supply. To view the policy visit: http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28403


ENDS

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