- Plan for realistic levels of future demand growth, because running out of electricity is a risk we are not prepared to take (Labour is saying growth will be only 1.2% despite historial average of 2.2%)
- Introduce priority consenting for some large energy projects
- Reverse the ban on new base-load thermal power stations
- Consider abolishing the Electricity Commission (has been mega expensive)
- Introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme within nine months of taking office
- Support a target of 90% renewables for new energy projects, but not at the expense of security of supply
- Expect no new coal stations unless technologies emerge for carbon capture and storage
- Introduce a $1,000 per household solar water heating grant and simply consent rules for solar power
- Invest $25m in seismic exploration over next three years to tap the potential 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent we have
Now let’s look at thermal generation in more detail. 75% of new generation under Labour has been thermal. To pretend you can go from 75% to 0% overnight is nuts. Even Labour sort of know this, and have left wriggle room – their ban is more of a slogan.
The Dom Post reports a leading energy lawyer saying the ban probably would have to abandoned by Labour after the election.
I think everyone agrees the long-term future is renewables, but it will take a while to get there. And the consenting process for hydro takes so long a ban on thermal will see shortages. Just look at this ODT story about David Parker saying no to any more hydro dams on the Clutha. I love wind power but wind alone is not a secure supply. We need more hydro, and until we get that hydro we will need more thermal.