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Transpower releases long-term view for the National Grid

Transpower releases long-term view for the National Grid and electricity industry

Transpower today released Transmission Tomorrow, a look at the challenges and opportunities facing the electricity industry over the next five to forty years.

The New Zealand power system is on the cusp of significant change: new technologies are emerging, the electricity sector is evolving and society is changing. The power system of tomorrow will look very different from the power system of today.

Transpower Chief Executive Alison Andrew said that like any business Transpower has developed a realistic view of the future to ensure we continue to provide attractive, cost-effective services that meet our customers’ changing needs.

“The services we provide are easy to take for granted – nearly everyone in New Zealand is connected to the National Grid. The power system has always been part of modern life.”

“However, increasingly electricity consumers have an expanding range of options for meeting their energy needs – combine this with changing societal factors, new technologies getting more affordable and sophisticated, continual changes in energy generation and relatively flat demand growth – there is increasing uncertainty in the near future for the electricity industry.”

“Ultimately, the power system of tomorrow will be radically different to what it is today. In the long-term horizon, battery or other storage technologies installed within homes and businesses, vehicles, distribution networks, and grid substations could fundamentally alter how the power system is operated by covering short-term power imbalances in supply and demand.”

“That could change the core role of the grid. We currently make many investment and operational decisions on providing 24/7 reliability of supply. In the future, you could see this change, as we become more of a charging service for batteries, or a pathway for new technologies. This essentially moves the transmission service from one of reliability to resilience.”

“Given the makeup of New Zealand’s power system however, where much of our low-cost renewable generation is located far from where the major load centres are, there will always be a need for a strong transmission grid.”

“While we expect significant changes in the future, we will still be in the business of prudently and safely managing long-lived assets and complex systems that provide essential service to New Zealand communities, households and businesses,” she said


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