Labour is now pledging to have 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030 and is targeting more electrification of transport and industry and further investment in emerging technologies such as green hydrogen

Labour is now pledging to have 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030 and is targeting more electrification of transport and industry and further investment in emerging technologies such as green hydrogen

The Labour Party has pledged to bring forward its 100% renewable electricity target by five years to 2030.

In addition, it says it will accelerate the electrification of the transport and industrial sectors and invest in emerging technologies such as green hydrogen.

Labour's also promising to continue to "make energy affordable for New Zealanders".

In releasing Labour's 'clean energy' policy on Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said  Labour was "planning properly" for New Zealand’s future energy needs. See here for more details. And see here for questions and answers.

"We need to take steps right now and also plan 30 years ahead to ensure New Zealand has stable, sustainable and affordable energy while also protecting jobs and industries. This policy does that,” she said.

Labour’s clean energy plan is a critical element of the party's wider Covid-19 recovery plan "that will both prepare New Zealand for the future while boosting jobs and the economy now" Ardern said.

Labour Energy spokesperson Megan Woods said New Zealand produces 84% of its electricity from renewable sources now, "but we can do better".

"We will stop activities that increase our emissions by, for example, banning new thermal baseload generation; and promote clean energy development.

“We are committed to taking the next steps to get to 100% renewable with support for projects like pumped hydro at Lake Onslow, removing the barriers to development of new renewable electricity projects, advancing green hydrogen and other green technologies and supporting businesses to decarbonise.

“Our plan for clean energy and lower carbon emissions will help us seize the economic opportunities of being the clean, green country that New Zealanders see ourselves as being and that we can market ourselves as. 

“The initiatives we are announcing today build on work we have done already, including the establishment of a $70 million fund to help major industrial users decarbonise; a $20 million Renewable Energy Research Platform; putting $27 million towards the establishment of Are Ake - the New Energy Development Centre; and supporting the roll-out of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network.

“Investing in cleaning up our energy use is good for our economy because we will reduce our reliance on imported energy from overseas while expanding innovation in new clean energy technologies. We also support new jobs in new industries like green hydrogen, and prevent further pollution and costs to the community.”

Woods said key steps to transforming the energy sector included:

  • Committing to accelerating the second stage of a pumped hydro storage solution at Lake Onslow with an additional $70 million allocated upfront (subject to the business case for which $30 million has already been announced); and other smaller schemes that could help achieve 100% renewable electricity

  • Developing a new National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation; removing regulatory barriers to renewable electricity generation; and restoring a ban on new thermal baseload generation

  • Supporting businesses to shift away from fossil fuels and improve energy management

  • Accelerating the uptake of low emissions vehicles

  • Continuing work on electricity and fuel pricing fairness.

“A great example of work we can do to become a world leader is the development of a green hydrogen industry. We can produce some of the cleanest green hydrogen in the world, and potentially receive a premium for it in international markets. We are already working with other countries including Japan and have invested in a nationwide fuelling network and will invest $10 million in a roadmap and further opportunities,” Woods said.

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107 Comments

They should give subsidy to all households for installing solar panels. Immediately.

who would pay for that?

Germany did it with interest free loans. Maybe a bulk buy of solar goods to being the price down as well.

and they now have stability issues and negative spot prices ...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/09/05/renewables-...

"But McKinsey issues its strongest warning when it comes to Germany's increasingly insecure energy supply due to its heavy reliance on intermittent solar and wind. For three days in June 2019, the electricity grid came close to black-outs."

We have hydo as a back up. In the summer months we could back off on the usage and keep it in reserve.
Germany seems to have gone too far in their reliance.

Reserve how.... there is not any battery technology with the capability yet. Gravity batteries by pumping hydro? lifting concrete blocks? Just more inefficiencies...

herd a damns? I thought they were called cows?

There are some very good batteries out there that can be bolted to the house. They retain a few days of power.
I'm talking about keeping the water in dams that would have been used if solar hadn't been installed on houses.
Our hydro dams are struggling at present due to less rain, so retaining that water as an energy source.

These batteries are the bizo. https://www.tesla.com/en_nz/powerwall

Farmers??

We could use money from the landlord handout (Accommodation Supplement).

The main challenges will be

1) baseload, for which residential solar does nothing (at least without storage projects)

and

2) contingency plans for a dry winter in which hydro capacity is limited.

How many people have solar and not storage though?

Most residential and commercial solar systems are Grid Tie type with no local storage, just feeding the on-premises consumption as it occurs on a sunny day. On that basis there is a break even time on current retail electricity costs around 10 years. Installing battery systems increases the costs dramatically and in order for it to function in any way appropriately when you have battery storage you also need substantially larger solar panel field in order to both run the daytime load and to store additional power, the break even period is extended out and there is a replacement cost at year 10 for the battery component which adds another capital lump cost and pushes the break even time out even longer, it is not really a viable solution in NZ and only becomes workable for the consumer if the govt props it up with subsidies (paid for by all taxpayers to the benefit of the few who can afford to do it anyway)

dual use aka batteries in a car for before and after work/weekend usage might be a more viable option? but yes - running an inverter and battery bank in the home is not cost efficient and you're better off just paying for electricity

Even with batteries that's only short term storage.

For good storage they need to be deep cycle. Car batteries are a fast output, deep cycle slow and prolonged.
These are the bussiness.
https://www.tesla.com/en_nz/powerwall
$5k I think but if NZ grabbed a hundred thousand of them and supposed at cost, we could drop that price.

$5K for a Powerwall? Dreaming. They run over $10K. Bulk discount - maybe? You wouldn't want to run V2G off your car battery as you say - extra cycles = extra wear on the batteries. Perhaps less of an issue in for chemistry of the future but it would mutilate the current non-cooled Nissan Leafs (which are set up for a kind of V2G, but it costs moonbeams to set up the domestic side of things at the moment).

No. The main challenge will be in peaking generation.

From residential solar? Yes. Or from 100% renewable full stop?

Generally both.
Hydro is okay for peaking. But we don't really have the capacity for it from the Waikato system.
In time storage may become an answer and electric cars may be the solution to that. However, ultimately, that is pipe dream stuff at the moment.

Maybe worthwhile in the North Island. 98% of the South Island's power supply already comes from renewables through dams.

On behalf of the middle class I want my subsidised solar panels and electric car.

Love our electric car. Couldn't recommend it more.

I'd get on board once they've put out an electric 4wd ute/suv. Any who, how do you find it for range, durability, features etc?

10/10 for features and driving experience. The immediacy of electric torque is amazing. Too early to say about reliability. Range is not as good as petrol to be sure, but not an issue with a little bit of planning -- the fast charger network is surprisingly well developed. With small kids you can't do 500k without stopping anyhow.

Ute aero profiles are more challenging, but it's coming.

why should they be subsidised?
so that we really crank up emissions to produce more of them quicker?

I'm sure landlords will be happy to subsidize the lower classes - bada boom

12
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a party of nothing but superficial and unachievalbe targets.

Exactly, every Labour policy from Kiwibuild to light rail has been an unmitigated failure.

In 4 years time the percentage of renewable energy will be the same as it is today except millions of $ will have been spent on committees and consultants.

More click bait, feel good policies. And where will this extra production come from? Geothermal is tapped out, wind dosnt produce bugger all, solar is still bloody inefficient and the greens, DOC and Forest & Bird wont let anyone build new hydro dams...
SI is all good (almost all renewable) but what about the elephant in the room that is Auckland?
Im all for getting rid of coal, the dirtiest fuel out there, but natural gas shouldnt have such a bad rap, esp since we are producing it in Taranaki.
The problem as already pointed out, is base load, times when sun or wind isnt producing. Or then you get the other end of the problem with too much solar and the grid cant handle it so you are literally trying to give it away.
https://www.handelsblatt.com/english/companies/grid-crisis-getting-paid-...
More subsidies and free government money incoming, Brrrrr....

The elephant in that room is the 60% of our energy which is fossil fuelled.

We are talking about electricity generation here, not energy consumption overall (ie not including transportation)
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/New_Zealand_electric...

PDK generally likes to steer the thread to his narrative.

the point though is more than valid
The masses hear 100% renewable energy in general (conveniently ignoring the squazillion barrels of Oil they personally consume..) and many a politician talks of NZ using 100% renewable energy ... which is all about as far fetched as our 100% pure tourism

Geothermal is a dirty form of renewable, and isn't renewable anyway, not in the sense most people think of it. So in reality we have 70% 'clean' renewable

You mean the old open cycle stuff? Not great I agree. But what don't you like about the new designs?

This being the same govt the wants govt employees back in the cbd. The govt that wants the roads filled up again with commuters and carbo polluting transport.

Yes. Even when Wellington CBD employers are following a somewhat staggered approach of bringing employees into the workplace since end of June, public transport is packed with people; worse with social distancing rules.
Meanwhile, the council has been pushing to implement congestion charges to fund transport investment and reduce road traffic: a classic NZ move of putting the cart before the horse.

It's a bit mixed up and a tad oxymoronic, but it leaves National in the dust. Makes them look like the dinosaurs they are.

The mixed up bit is that it is energy which underwrites economic activity, 100%. And renewables will never replace fossil energy in energy-availability, but will replace fossil energy because it's finite. The knock-on question is whether an economy (as we understand one) will exist post FF - it looks like the answer is 'No'.

And hydrogen is both a loss in energy terms, and colourless. Just sayin'. Possibly worth taking the energy-hit for special purposes (going to the moon qualified) but a loss it is.

Still, heading in the right direction aspirationally. Makes 'clean coal' Brownlee look a tad dinosaurish.

Thorium nuclear. Practically limitless, can't melt down like Chernobyl and Fukushima and doesn't produce large amounts of fissile waste material. True Greenies should want molten salt nuclear.
https://www.zmescience.com/science/what-is-molten-salt-reactor-424343/

Nuclear is the power of the future, but people have been so brainwashed that is terrible that theres no chance NZ would go that way. Thats what I advocate for, putting a reactor in northland.

Q4-25: First Plasma!
ITER's First Plasma is scheduled for December 2025. This important milestone will mark the end of the construction phase and the transition to operation.

PDK. There is still the implementation... A massive sticking point with Labour.
Are we going to measure the effectiveness of the money this time or are we just going to get the warm fuzzys.
Electric cars are that eco as well by the time you take in manufacturing, battery manufacture and recycling.

14
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We are ranked 35th out of 41 developed countries for child poverty and possibly the worst developed country for youth suicide.

I couldn't give a flying fig about that last 16%, how are we going to fix the things that matter?

15
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Jacinda 2017 "My goal is to eradicate child poverty in New Zealand"
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/jacinda-arden-s-goal-end...

Just another failed policy from this lot.

https://www.oecd.org/els/family/CO_4_4_Teenage-Suicide.pdf

Page 2, a stain on all of us - we should be shouting from the rooftops about this.

Worst teenage suicide rates in the OECD. F**k me.

Probably not possible without tackling housing affordability and housing-health, ultimately, such is its pervasive impact. And that is not allowed, as it might affect some folks' portfolio values.

That's a lazy comment Rick. For rural Maori community's (as an example), landlords driving up house prices are not an issue, the issue is the prohibitive cost to build a house to code full stop. Land is very cheap in rural communities, but building isn't

Build a simple house then.
Land and supply of it in populated urban areas is by far the driving force of housing cost.

I refereed to housing affordability in my comment, while not excluding any causes of it.

I don't believe any of the wishy washy tripe that comes out of her mouth.

Well at least now it is official policy and is finally being measured properly - hardly a fail

That's right, the CPRA. Way to slow though and it's exposing Labour.

Have less b----y children and stop immigration.

Period.

The left like immigration because you know, we're all one, and we're all in this together...

The right like immigration because it's great for business. More mouths to feed and endless low wage labour.

Te Kooti - you forgot the 7th highest child homicide rate in the OECD. This Labour government is so busy virtue signalling to the global audience about alleged issues that aren't going to happen for a generation or so, that it is 'absolutely' failing the here and now generations.

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Pumped Storage does NOT generate electricity. It only stores what has already been generated and gives 80% back. Thermal stations generated about 8000GWh last year. That means an extra 10,000GWh of renewables need to be built. That is 24 of the Waitara sized wind farms. No sign of those costs in the package. And for the 1200MW pumped storage station, they need to build 1000MW of new transmission lines from Roxburgh to Whakamaru as all the thermals are in the North Island. What will that cost?
It is a Teeshirt feel good slogan to bankrupt the country. Look out energy poverty, here we come.

Exactly correct.
I can see 'pumped hydro' and 'Onslow basin' being the buzzwords for the next 5 or so years in response to the issues we face with further renewable uptake.

It's the obvious solution when you don't understand the problem.

Chris Morris - you are correct re the grid, no argument. The question is what we look like in the future, and that's a systems problem. Again, I'll put up this link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919310067

This is what I try and point out; the way we will be living bears no resemblance to the way we live now. Will the grid be our lifeline? Or will even one trans-NZ link be too much to maintain? So few folk seem to be able to envisage anything except 'now', and presume it's 'normal'. The transient period post WW2 was what was abnormal. Can 'being on the bike' work in a post-collapse slash triage scenario? As I recall, you baulk at contemplating such a scenario - I guess a few Titanic passengers baulked too....

Sans battery manufacturing (global collapse or global war-over-what's-left) would Onslow be worth a shot? Or would we be better with local pumped storage (given that water-at-height is do-able low-tech and is the most benign battery known?

I think we're going to be demanding, using and affording, a shitload less power, not sure about fossil displacement though; I suspect forests will be eyed-up for firewood pretty fast.

That article is a buzzword salad. It makes some valid points but they are lost in the tripe.
New Zealand can reduce its fossil fuel dependency, but people have to make hard choices. Accept the drop in your income - don't have overseas holidays - regard a trip in the car as a special event - don't live so far from work that you can't bike or ride there. Unless people are prepared to make those sort of sacrifices, then it is just virtue signalling. And it will do nothing to the earth's climate as no country that really matters will make the sacrifice.

It was nothing to do with climate - you didn't read it, did you?

It says this among other things about climate change "There is a recent trend in environmental media asserting climate change is the primary systemic risk faced by civilization. One of the points of this paper is to suggest that climate change is one symptom of a much larger dysfunction. Multiple interrelated risks all point to an impending, imposed reduction in energy/material throughput in coming decades. There are 2 primary implications of this:"
and I have read it before

Thank you. Are you of the opinion we are going to continue 'growing' and if so, on what energy-source? And if not, how?
I regard you as perhaps ideologically slanted (private vs public, as per below?) and from previous interchanges, a technocopian. But I also reckon you're the type we'll need in a future (which I see as a global re-enactment of Apollo 13).

Good comments.
Sick of these virtue signallers climate this, black-lives that... give us a break and do something worthy of society like building an f n house!

Didn't realise those things were sacrifices - been living like that for years. Happily!

Fossil fuels like coal and gas over time are on an increasing cost curve. While renewables such as wind and solar costs are decreasing. Pumped hydro allows those renewables to be used even when the rain doesn't fall or when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine. Once the fixed costs of grid upgrades and pumped hydro are made then NZ has almost unlimited supply of low cost renewable electricity into perpetuity. Investing in those fixed costs is probably the best Covid recovery expenditure NZ could make.

Brendon - you don't know what you are talking about. What is the cost per GWh for the energy sources (pre tax or subsidy) in NZ conditions? Include the cost of consents and grid compliance. Why do some of the windfarms shut off when spot prices go low because they are uneconomic to run?

I beg to differ. Chris you are the one who has the wrong end of the stick. Fossil fuel peaking plants are only economic at extremely high wholesale spot prices. Wind + pumped hydro will be cheaper than this. Add in the benefits of removing CO2 producing generation and being able to bring on cheap renewable generation for the ramp of demand coming from electrifying transport and electricfying industrial users and it is definitely a winner.

As I thought Brendon, you are big on rhetoric and short on facts.

The facts I have said in these comments are true. Feel free to disprove them Chris. It seems that the Onslow pumped hydro scheme is going to happen. Although it is possible the business case finds some unconsidered factors which puts a stop to it. If that doesn't happen the funding has already been allocated to take pumped hydro onwards to the design and engineering stage. Best get used to it...

If you are so big on facts Brendon, show how pumped storage can be economic. What will be the capital cost of the dam and transmission lines (you need to build 10000MW capacity from Roxburgh to Whakamaru to replace thermal) What price do you need to buy and sell the power? And what will be the capital costs of the generation needed to give the cheap power to allow the pumped storage to work?

Oh. Those old chestnuts. Transmission and pricing.
Always seems to be conveniently ignored in Brendons comments.

Chris and Nymad are you too lazy to do your own homework? You have made the claim that pumped hydro is uneconomic and yet you have given no evidence supporting that.

There is a $30m business case that will be an in depth examination of its economic veracity.

But in the meantime how about this statement.

Dr Keith Turner, the former chief executive of Meridian Energy from 1999 to 2008, has given his professional opinion that if the cost of the Onslow pumped hydro scheme was spread across all electricity consumption, like an insurance premium, it would be only 0.5 to 0.75 cents per kilowatt hour. That is about $50 a year for an average household. Whereas wholesale electricity prices would likely drop by twice this much once the scheme begins operating.
https://businessdesk-co-nz.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/businessdesk.co.nz/amp...

Brendon.
Where is the Onslow basin?
Where is the majority of baseload and peak demand?
What sits in between them?

You are always going on about optimising for efficiency but seem to have no idea that you have a constrained optimisation problem here. And you are ignoring the constraints.

Then you have all the nodal pricing to worry about and the gaming of generators and forwarding contracts.

Wheres your homework Nymad that proves your contention that pumped hydro is uneconomic. Something with actual numbers? It shouldn't be hard to disprove pumped hydro. It is known technology. The Norwegians built pumped hydro decades ago. There is a nice video about it here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opxgf5V_unA

But in all fairness, those proposing the solution haven't actually shown it economic either. Hence the whole ongoing business case thing.

The norwegian case is not hugely economic. Any new investment in pumped storage would need huge upgrades in transmission for it to become economic. The same issue we have in New Zealand, but without a market the size of northern europe.

Sure it is still an open question whether investing in further pumped storage in Norway for other European countries would be worthwhile. But the existing Saurdal scheme has been very successful for the Norwegian electricity market at smoothing supply and price fluctuations. Along with Canada they have some of cheapest electricity in the world...

You are saying pumped storage is economic. It is up to you to make your case against status quo. The Investigation that Labour commissioned three years ago dismissed it out of hand as back of fag packet maths shows it can't be economic. 5000GWh per year buying at $50/MWh and selling at $100 gives $200M a year gross income before taking off O&M.. Now, how do you repay capital on that?
The transmission situation is covered by the Transpower reports which you obviously haven't read.

To be exceedingly generous to Brendan as he needs a lot of help to understand, I assumed the pumped storage had a load factor of 50%. It can't go higher. In reality, the true load factor would be around 5% so income would be a tenth of what is shown

As has been pointed out before, you have no understanding of either the engineering or the economics. Rather than show where my figures underestimate the benefits, you drop back into a stupid mantra. The Productivity Commission matched my summation. That is why they dismissed it without even doing more than a cursory analysis.

Since the Productivity Commission non-report, because as you say they did not consider pumped hydro, the Interim Climate Commission has examined pumped hydro. As has Transpower and as has independent electricity and economic experts such as Dr Turner the former CEO of Meridan. They all advised pumped hydro was worthy of further investigation.
Now a full $30m business case is being undertaken. This will give a far more detailed description of pumped hydro's economic benefits. If this business case is successful there is $70m funding for further detailed design and engineering analysis.

I have read many documents supporting pumped hydro for NZ. Such as,
The Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), a ministerial advisory committee created by the New Zealand Government, that took an interest in the pumped hydro proposal because it helps New Zealand transition to 100% renewable electricity supply. The committee recommended in its 2019 report a more in-depth study be done on pumped hydro from a technical, economic, cultural, environmental and social perspective.

After the business case announcement in July
Vector, New Zealand’s largest distributor of electricity welcomed the government’s announcement. They state, “as fossil fuelled generation plants retire, pumped hydro would provide a smooth and reliable transition to a 100% renewable system alongside customer investments in solar and other technologies.”

Chris playing the man not the ball just shows you lack a cohesive argument. All you have is misinformation...
I have read Transpower report Whakamana i Te Mauri Hiko — Empowering our Energy Future on P.23 it shows that of the options to cope with NZs dry year risk, the only real choice is sticking with the status quo of using gas peaking plants which emits carbon or building pumped hydro. All other options are more expensive.
Transpower predicts NZ will experience an electrification ‘ramp’ of increased electricity demand and supply, especially from 2025. Transpower commented that managing dry year risk (P.75) is the energy industry’s biggest challenge which could jeopardise the electrification process.
Transpower clearly describes that New Zealand needs to make a decisive decision on how to manage the dry year risk.
"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).

It doesn't matter a rodent's behind whether something is 'economic' or not.

What matters is whether it is required to address the future, or not.

All 'economic' talk, this late in the growth era, this far into unrepayable debt (and what is money worth if debt is unrepayable?), it's a ridiculous measure. Witch Doctor territory.

Remember Labour's last power station foray. Build Whirinaki for $200M, sell it some years later for $20M. The consumers paid for that stupidity in their power bills. This will cost orders of magnitude more. That is why the economics matter.

That's a pittance compared to the think big losses. Not that i don't think some of those projects were worthwhile.

PDK I understand where you are coming from wrt to your view about the futility of the current economic paradigm. Your views are well recorded on this site.
Yet even in an era of declining fossil fuel supply it is still important to assess what if any energy alternatives are possible. Even if economic growth is not possible or desirable some sort of economic analysis will still be required when comparing different energy projects.

Read the Transmission Planning Report all 400 pages of it. And I play the man because you haven't got the ability to tell me what your buy and sell price is and the load factor. Anyone who had the slightest understanding of how the system went would know that, but you obviously don't.

We will not know pumped hydro's buying and selling price points until the funding model is determined by the business case.
I can see three funding model possibilities. There may be more.
1. The government pays for the construction of Onslow, for the first fill and for the transmission line upgrades out of the consolidated fund. At a very rough estimate because the business case is not completed let's call this $5bn in 2020 money. The government could consider this a good investment on the grounds of Covid recovery or on climate change grounds. In this case pumped hydro's buying and selling electricity spot price points would just need to cover operating costs. Mainly the round cycle 75% energy efficiency of pumping and generating. That means the selling price would need to be about 33% higher than its buying price. Wholesale electricity prices would fall because the 'dry year' risk is no longer a factor.
2. Instead of the government paying the upfront capital costs a fixed line charge is used instead. A new line charge is added to all electricity users to reflect the benefits of more secure electricity supply. About $60 annually for households. Dr Turner estimates the fall in wholesale prices is likely to be double this cost so households are still better off.
3. The scheme is entirely paid for from its arbitrage operations of buying electricity at low prices and selling high. In this case the gap between its buying and selling price points will be wider than 33%.

You are a very selective reader with confirmation bias Brendon. You could try reading this report from the same source which basically rubbishes most of what you have written. https://www.iccc.mfe.govt.nz/assets/PDF_Library/c6cdf7a395/Switched-on-A....
If you use the costs in Pete Hodgson's comments about Whirinaki in 2005, the capital cost of Onslow will be about $500 pa per family. On the published Waitara figures, generation there will cost about $85/MWh. That is more expensive than current prices, so no-one will build more generation without a higher price. That means Turner is wrong. You need an overbuild of generation to give you power to fill the lake so prices will drop so no-one will build without subsidies. Where is your costs for overbuild. 33% arbitrage only covers direct running costs. Where is O&M costs and capital repayment? And you still haven't got the electricity to the North Island as existing lines can't even carry current load.
As I have repeatedly stated, you do not understand the subject and think repeating your mantra gives you credibility. It doesn't. In NZEs day, they used to have a nutters file for regular correspondents to the Minister pushing harebrained schemes. . That is where you would be placed. . .

Your report Chris -"Switched On" is written by a former Bill English staffer and you call me a selective reader with confirmation bias -haha

Here is the sum total of analysis that Chris's recommended 'Switch On' report has about pumped hydro.
"Additional hydrogeneration: Potential geographic areas are available (Transpower points to a basin in the South Island) but constrained by planning and likely local opposition." P. 29
I think the government's $30m business case will be a tad more detailed than that....
The report is though interesting -as are most NZ Initiative reports. It is let down by being overly focused on the lessons (mistakes) coming from Germany. Which isn't surprising as the head of the NZ Initiative -Oliver Hartwich is from Germany. It is a shame he isn't from Norway because then he might better explain how they have a similar electricity market structure to NZ. How Norway made large investments into pumped hydro to ensure security of supply. And how Norway achieved 99% renewable electricity supply (effectively 100%), yet they have much lower electricity prices than NZ.
NZ needs to get these basics right before it can do the higher profile environmental stuff -like Norway is starting to do in a big way, such as, electrifying its light vehicle fleet.

As per usual Brendan, you are a very selective reader with your confirmation bias - accusing me of it just shows your projection. I included that report because it gave a reasonably simple explanation of how the system works - something you don't understand. I could have referenced Schipper but that may as well have been written in Urdu as it would be totally beyond your comprehension.
But just going on your beloved report. This is what it says "The Committee’s analysis updated available 2006 engineering calculations of the cost of the Lake Onslow proposal. The analysis used the latest information available on a comparable scheme about to be built; Snowy Hydro 2.0 in Australia. This analysis showed that the marginal emissions abatement cost for a pumped hydro storage solution at Lake Onslow was around $250/t CO2e." So they just used Bardsley's thumbsuck of a price; showed it isn't economic, just better than all the other really bad options. And they didn't include either transmission costs or overbuild in the price. Go through their numbers. And then tell us how they will get the power to Auckland without a totally new transmission line.

Also Chris you play the man not the ball because you could can't see beyond your biases and ideological position. I have replied to your questions in good faith yet all you do is sneer and be verbally abusive. I think that says more about you than me...

Don't believe them.

They are coming for the Green Party vote, they don't care who knows it.

They will still drag the Greens with them and give them high ranking jobs (which they will screw up).

They'll fit in well with the rest of the Labour cabinet then.

The opposite of making energy affordable for all New Zealanders will happen with this policy. The last 5% was always going to be a huge challenge. If the solution is an horrendously expensive pumped hydro scheme our costs will go up - someone has to pay for it, and it won't be the generators (If it was a sure thing it would have been consented already).
The solution isn't to ban things, it's to emphasise energy efficiency. (Ban and tax and spend)

If I recall correctly, the Onslow appraisal originated out of Waikato Uni a few years ago. Whether it was anticipating storing Hayes windpower locally, or separate, I'd be interested to know. Yes, it would cost; anything does.

But I have a small problem with efficiencies; if it's a passive solar house, the efficiency is free and forever, no repair required. But if it's clever-tech and you're relying on it with knock-on dependent stuff happening, it tends to be less resilient. More fragile, less robust. That though has to be in the mix. Cuba went where the planet will inevitably go (as Japan has gone where we will financially): https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the-power-of-community-how-cuba-sur...

50% of vegetable needs for Havana produced by urban agriculture - and we're building subdivisions on Pukekohe - fossil fuel binge subsidies have made us drunk, slow and stupid.

What we need is an electricity system that operates in harmony to take advantage of the prevailing weather and lake storage status. There used to be a comany that did just this. I think it was called ECNZ.
Time to nationalize the system?

nah - just open the floodgates and give it away for a dividend - we can just laze about at the beach with our generators

Take your rose tinted glasses off. ECNZ and before that NZE had a lot of problems, and brought us power cuts.

Jacinda.
Get a couple of easy projects under your belt and then when you have the staff you can expand to other projects. This is bigger than Kiwibuild and it's just going to be another screw up.

5 werks to go and the silly plans are stating to emerge.

While it may be doable - at what cost? Until a government addresses NZ's rapid rate of population growth and aims for a stable population we are running a Red Queen's race. How much more of our remote landscapes be industrialised with wind-turbines? How many more of our rivers be dammed (damned)?