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NZ still waiting for lightbulb moment from Woods

8 November 2018

NZ still waiting for lightbulb moment from Woods

The Government must wince every time the Energy Minister gets questioned on her portfolio given her lack of detail, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“This week Woods waffled that we’ll need to build the equivalent of 4.5 windfarms a year to reach the Government’s 2050 low-carbon target. But today she was unable to tell New Zealand how much installed capacity those windfarms would need to add.

“If the Minister was prepared to give this level of specificity to Parliament, she ought to be able to quantify it.

Ms Woods has said New Zealand produces 6 terawatts of surplus energy each summer. That’s enough power to run more than five times all of the world’s lightbulbs at once, says Young.

“She has speculated that we could store that surplus summer energy through molten salt storage and hydrogen storage – technologies now only in their infancy and no substitute for an affordable and reliable energy system.

“The Minister insists there’s no energy security risk from her hydrocarbon exploration ban because of all these new alternatives, but she can’t provide credible answers on what we actually need to meet the looming energy gap, says Young.

“This is unacceptable for the Minister who is responsible for energy security in New Zealand but is clearly not on top of her job.

“It’s time for Megan Woods to get back to the 21st century and develop a sound and affordable energy system.”

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