We are burning more coal than ever

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

We have burned more coal in the last year than we did in the previous five years… even though the government announced the end of oil and gas permits in the same period. The government has made sweeping gestures on energy, without having a clue how they will keep the lights on in the next few years. We are all going to pay the price for this madness, one way or another.quote.

It is a sad irony that in the first year of a Government that talks a big game on climate change, New Zealand burned the most coal in five years to keep the lights on, National?s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

?It?s a foretaste of the imbalances to come. New Zealand only has certainty of supplies of natural gas to generate electricity for the next six years. Beyond that Energy Minister Megan Woods has no way of knowing how soon new technologies and energy sources can fill the gap.

?Genesis Energy, which burns coal as the generator of last resort with 80 per cent of that going to other power retailers, is already stockpiling the fuel in preparation for next winter. While coal use jumped in the fourth quarter due to low lake levels and the Pohokura gas outage, increased use will become an ongoing theme as gas supplies deplete. end quote.

Another failed policy in a sea of failed policies. How can it be better for the environment to burn coal instead of using natural gas as an energy source? With low lake levels in the south, the problem is only going to get worse next winter. quote.

?That?s because Dr Woods doesn?t have a feasible plan to ensure new technology and energy sources will arrive soon enough and with enough scale to make up for the loss of gas.

?It isn?t good enough that Dr Woods talks up the promise of fuels such as hydrogen when her officials aren?t confident they will be in place in time. As a result, the outcome will be higher electricity prices and more greenhouse gas emissions ? from imported coal.

end quote

The idea of hydrogen as a replacement to natural gas as a fuel has merit, but no one has actually managed to make it work feasibly yet. It will be years before this is a credible alternative. As we only have 6 years of natural gas left, this may mean that there is a real energy problem looming. Don’t worry though. Megan Woods has it all covered. 4.5 windfarms a year is all we need. quote.

?Dr Woods track record of refusing to listen to her officials means her decisions on New Zealand?s energy supply will put New Zealand?s economy and Kiwi jobs at risk.

?We absolutely believe the country has to respond to climate change but we need a solution that will work for New Zealand.?

  jonathan young, national party end quote.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, the government’s approach is to ride roughshod over our economy to meet their ideological targets. The damage they could do is immeasurable but that doesn’t matter. So long as Jacinda can turn up at forums such as Davos and spout virtue signals about stopping oil and gas permits, the government will be happy. The economy, and the New Zealand people, however, will be the ones to suffer.