Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Electricity Proposal Represents Regulatory Instability

Opposition Electricity Proposal Represents Regulatory Instability, UC Expert Says 
 
April 30, 2013
 
A University of Canterbury (UC) electricity expert says the Labour and the Green Party electricity proposal risks regulatory instability and it would be preferable to deal with any problems the parties have identified by improvements to the existing market structure. 
 
The Opposition parties have said that, if elected next year, Labour will establish a new agency to act as a single buyer of wholesale electricity, which will have the power to set prices.
 
UC electrical engineering researcher Dr Allan Miller says the Opposition proposal is a huge change to the electricity industry which would take a great deal of resource which would not go into the productive economy. 
 
``It makes New Zealand look like an unstable country and less desirable to invest in. Companies who invest here require some certainty over electricity price and reliability and this promotes neither. 
 
``If there is something wrong with the current market - and I tend to agree with recent reports that generators have too much market power - it would be better to improve the market structure we have at present rather than embark on another huge and expensive change and one that is highly experimental.
 
`` The Opposition’s proposed New Zealand Power would not only be a single buyer of electricity, but would by default effectively be a single seller of electricity and therefore would be a monopoly. New Zealand consumers will essentially have no choice of supplier, making them worse off than they are now, under a regime where a single company knows better. 
 
``The monopoly would extract monopoly rents, because it would not have the discipline placed on it of a strongly elastic demand, created by consumer choice.  A purchasing body or collective model may work well where New Zealand is competing internationally with numerous other buyers, where the price is set internationally.
 
``However in the proposed New Zealand Power case there is only one buyer, with no competitive price setting arrangement.  It would likely be inefficient to set up such a company.
 
``Furthermore there is no evidence, as claimed in the policy document, that a “cost based price pool enables the use of smart grids which allow New Zealanders to make real-time decisions about the best way to use energy should they so choose.’’ 
 
Dr Miller has received $6.3 million of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funding to investigate renewable energy and smart grids.
 
His project will contribute to a future New Zealand with greater renewable generation and improved energy security through development of a smarter, efficient, cost-effective and robust renewable electricity generation system. It proposes to do this within the existing electricity market structure.
 
``We will provide government and industry with methods for managing and balancing supply and demand variability and delivering a functional and safe distribution network in which intermittent renewable generation is a growing part of the energy supply.
 
``The result will be an efficient, cost-effective and robust electricity network meeting the ongoing and changing power supply and demand needs of New Zealanders,’’ Dr Miller says.
 
New Zealand currently generates about 75 percent of its electricity from renewable generation, making it a world-wide leader in this area.


 
Photo: Dr Allan Miller

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news