Woods generates more heat than light

Jonathan Young valiantly attempted to get a straight and simple answer out of the Minister of Energy and Resources in the house on Thursday. When Young raised a point of order that Dr Woods had not answered the question, the speaker ran interference and said that she had “addressed” it.

Just because you address an envelope does not mean that you deliver it!

You can read it all in Hansard, or watch below, but it all started with the observation that future wholesale prices for 2020 electricity are 40% above the current level and Young asked whether that would be reflected in household bills and when.

Woods waffled on about consented wind energy in the future that would depress prices. Then there was some argy-bargy with Brownlee and the speaker before Young raised a point of order: Quote.

Jonathan Young: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I asked a question around prices that have been contracted for the year 2020, so this is just over a year away, and the infrastructure the Minister is talking about?they haven’t even turned a sod in the ground.End quote.

The speaker then joined the debate using his past experience as a minister of energy. An interesting action. Quote.

Jonathan Young: So can the Minister inform the House that, apart from the Waverley project of a 100-megawatt wind farm, how many new generation builds will take place that will affect the 2020 electricity prices?it’s just over a year away?

Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS: As I also explained in my primary answer to the member: in the short term, because of the way the market works, those forward prices don’t necessarily flow through. There are over 2,000 megawatts of consented wind. We currently have a programme of work in place around updating those consents. If the member wants to put in writing a request for a list of projects, I will happily furnish it to him. End quote.

Peters then attempted to rescue Woods with a complete red herring. So Young got even more specific: Quote.

Jonathan Young: So how many megawatts of extra generation will come on stream within the next 12 months?

Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS: More than are needed. I think the member is the only person who is scaremongering. What we know about forward projections of what we need over the long term, which will have the largest impact on futures markets, is that we need roughly a doubling of our generation by 2050. That member should stop scaremongering. End quote.

The question was, what is actually going to come on stream by 2020, not what the projections say we might need by 2050. Quote.

Jonathan Young: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I believe I asked a reasonable question. The Minister has been defending against my questions?

SPEAKER: No, no, get to the point of order.

Jonathan Young: Well, sir, she didn’t answer the question.

SPEAKER: She addressed it. End quote.


Well, actually no she did not. Never does and simply cannot. She is so far out of her depth that the Coast Guard is required.