A Very Inconvenient Truth
News that last Friday's electricity demand was at least 90% of the available supply is alarming. We are talking a warm day in Auckland but my estimate is not everyone is back from hols yet and many had taken Friday off to make the most of the long weekend. So airconditioners were not running at max. The electricity system has no flex. We are close to brown-outs.
Usually February is our warmest month. What then? Much of the capacity that is off line at the moment will still be out for maintenance in Feb...
Further the installed capacity of 180MW of wind generation was online and not spinning - why ....NO WIND. That hot warm summer we're enjoying has often been windless where the turbines are. The other sting in the tail with the warm weather is the temperature of the Waikato River may be too hot for cooling Huntly Power Station - 1000MW unavailable.
Readers of this blog will recall my rants about the parlous state of our energy supply. The poor situation is being proved daily. My pick is this will become a political issue for the Gummint sooner rather than later. They have had eight plus years to sort this out.
Bryan Leyland (often excoriated because he posits facts regarding the lunacy of NZ's energy strategy and takes a balanced view on climate change) was right on the money with his response to NZ's (read Labour's) energy strategy in 2004. Looking at the graph his predictions are spot on. In NZ the growth in supply is way behind the growth in demand. We are at the intercept - life gets progressively worse from now on.