A Credit Injection to the Electricity Grid Would Boost New Zealand’s Economy

Hoover Dam in the US was built during the Great Depression
Huntly Power Station on the banks of the Waikato River
Vestas to install 27 Wind Turbines at Turitea Wind Farm for Mercury Energy near Palmerston North. Credit: Anna Jimenez Calaf on Unsplash
Greenpeace has been campaigning for Fonterra to stop burning coal to dry milk for a decade.
Alta dam, one of Norway’s 937 hydro power stations that provide 98% of the nation’s power.
Effect of March 26 2019 rain event on wholesale electricity prices. Prices are median daily values at Haywards node (excluding weekends). Daily storage values provided by NZX.
Source. Note full hydro storage capacity in New Zealand is 4000 GWh. The Lake Onslow scheme would more than double that.
Picture of the existing Lake Onslow dam. Unlike the Hoover Dam the proposed Onslow pumped hydro scheme would be a low earth dam. It could be built in stages and landscaped into the environment. The biggest civil works component of the scheme would be the 24 km tunnel.
Lake Onslow Reservoir. The small dam creating the existing lake flooded the original wetland. If a bigger lake for the pumped hydro scheme was constructed it is suggested new wetlands could be created to mitigate the environmental effect.
Source: Transpower report Whakamana i Te Mauri Hiko — Empowering our Energy Future P.69
Water spills over the Waitaki Dam in this June, 2019. Source -Stuff article -Hydro scheme water spill warnings for those in Waitaki and Mackenzie districts
Example of the NZRB providing direct monetary stimulus to the real economy. Source -Stuff -Housing on the State. The above quote originally sourced from ‘State Housing in New Zealand’ published by the Ministry of Works in 1949
Transpower predicts 68 per cent growth in energy demand between now and 2050 as ‘the ramp’. Figure 3 shows why. The ramp in energy demand is slow in the five years between 2020 and 2025, from 42 to 44 TWh, but materially grows in the 2025–2030 period, in which total energy demand increases by approximately 10 per cent from 44 to 48 TWh. Source: Transpower report Whakamana i Te Mauri Hiko — Empowering our Energy Future P.23

The dry year risk is a unique and significant challenge that has the potential to disrupt our journey towards a decarbonised economy and materially set it back. This is the biggest challenge we face. It requires clear and decisive ownership of the decision around what New Zealand must do to address it (P.76).




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