Neville Bennett deconstructs a large, dense MED Report that forecasts our future energy requirements, and takes an economists look at what drives it. Your view?

Neville Bennett deconstructs a large, dense MED Report that forecasts our future energy requirements, and takes an economists look at what drives it. Your view?

By Neville Bennett*

Energy is a vital ingredient to civilisation: it is the source of food, warmth and light that makes life possible, it drives our machines and is the base of our transport, vital for distribution and the locations of our homes, work and recreation.

Despite this The Ministry of Economic Development’s recent Energy Outlook  - which forecasts energy supply, demand, prices and greenhouse gas emissions - has not excited much public discussion.

I think MED is too engineer-driven. Its report is written from the perspective of a 'supplier' rather than a 'consumer'.

I also think it is deficient in the use of several important economic principles which I advance later.

Do not get me wrong: I think the report is valuable, intelligent and a great start for debate which ought to be broad with thousands of people contributing.

Another caution: the report is large (and I have a word limit), so there is no way that my opening salvo can do full justice to the issue. I could, for example, comment in detail on quite small parts of the Report, such as assumptions of future growth rates and prices or its controversial Electricity Generation Cost Model.

The full Report is here » but another page links to 5 other and related reports.

First, some highlights, with my necessarily brief  comments ...

- New Zealand uses less energy to add a dollar to GDP than it has in the past.
‘Energy Intensity” has declined by 21% since 1990 as GDP has risen 21% more than energy use. The report assumes that another 21% improvement will take place by 2030.

Renewable energy will provide around 50% of primary energy supply by 2030.
The Report expects that wind power will only double its contribution by that time, while the Wind energy Association expects a higher amount as its unit costs fall because of increasing efficiency. I am favourably disposed to wind, but internationally some critics disparage it, and I hope to discuss this separately another time.

Consumer energy demand growth rate slackens.
Energy demand grew by 1.4% p.a. 1990-2010 but it is expected to fall to 1% p.a. in future, largely because it is used more efficiently.

Transport remains oil-dependent.
Electric cars and bio-fuels are minor players, contributing only 2% by 2030.

Emissions stabilize, but are 40% higher than 1990
Bye-bye Kyoto!

Electricity demand increases 25%+ by 2030.
This is questionable if prices keep rising at the present rate, high prices will force people to economise e.g. reduce space-heating. It is also possible that domestic demand is lowered by a rigorous insulation policy and higher building standards on new homes (insulation, double glazing etc) There is much scope here.

Electricity investment is dominated by wind and geothermal.

Wholesale electricity prices increase by about 1% more than inflation to cover cost of investment in new generation.
This may seem reasonable to suppliers, indeed shareholders might want even higher prices to justify the use of capital. Profits are justified by the use of capital and risk (weather, disaster, regulatory etc) but this is open to objection based on the fact that a provider has a different view from a consumer. Consumers are exasperated by the long term cost of electricity exceeding the rate of inflation. There is an imperfect market of a few providers who can gouge their customers. Customers cannot walk away as demand for energy is very inelastic and there are no viable substitutes on a large scale.

High Oil Prices encourage exploration and development.
High probability of increased gas supply by 2030.

High oil prices encouraged more fuel efficient cars and use of electric cars and biofuels.

High NZ$ allows cheaper imports and this keeps wholesale prices down (very marginally).
MED uses imported wind turbines as an example, some may object that NZ made gear should be investigated.

Now, here are some principles to consider:

1. International Comparisons
New Zealand needs to be competitive internationally.

2. Renewables
Everyone agrees that the fossil fuels are finite. Some feel that we are in Peak Oil now. This could also be link to Professor Meadows’ perception in The Limits to Growth (1972) that if we keep using resources at an increasing rate we will hit the limits of growth as resources of arable land, fish, oil, and metals become extremely scarce. Meadows advocated trying to use fewer resources, but MED’s philosophy remains growth fixated.

3. Inter-Temporal
MED wants to use resources in the present time. That’s OK, except that if oil is to run out, we have to decide how it is used through time? This is a matter of choice which is never discussed in NZ literature. Should we use available oil as fast as possible? That’s the government view; they want to find oil and sell it, fast. It is not the view of OPEC which has brilliant economists who think that as oil prices are rising they should leave oil in the ground to appreciate in value.

Should we delay oil use? One line of thought to be explored is inter-generational justice. Is it fair for us to use all the oil in the next decade or so and leaving very little for our grandchildren? Will we be forcing them to drill Antarctica? And if we cut down on oil now we would reduce CO emissions, should we not do that? I am inclined to take climate change seriously but wonder if MED are committed.

4. Externalities
The MED continuous-growth scenario may eventually push NZ towards adopting nuclear power generation. If this occurs, then there are dangers of disaster which affects people in perpetuity: think Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Similarly, drilling for oil, particularly in deep water is fraught with risk. Tankers have sunk and drilling sites have leaked with massive pollution. There needs to be tight regulation.

5. Equity
Exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels leaves desolate site and little reward for the country. NZ apparently earned only about $1 million for DOC concessions last year. Not the road to wealth! The Australians are hoping to impose a mining tax that increases the equity element and I may turn to that topic at another time.

6. Think laterally
We would need less generation if we got out of the Tiwai Point contract, and used the power it consumed nationally. It has never been a good deal for taxpayers.


* Neville Bennett was a long-time Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Canterbury, where he taught since 1971. His focus is economic history and markets. He is also a columnist for the NBR.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Neville, at the risk of winding up a certain group of posters, this link is a telling one, where Germany the home for green orthodoxy on climate, wind and solar power is having a big rethink.
Incidently this award winning website is the the most visited science website on these matters, over 100 million hits.
Thorium reactors may be the correct path for the future - no hazardous waste - but if doable it's some time off. Windflow, NZ's turbine manufacturer is facing "headwinds"

Well done Neville. For an economist, that's quite a step.
We'll overlook the wee tout above. Denial and clutching at straws - Heinberg nicely describes it as 'waiting for the magic elixir' - are so-common bedfellows. So common that some call it cognitive dissonance.
Dealing with reality, the peak of watts  per person per hour, always signalled the peak of wealth per head, and I'm assuming Neville has read Tainter.
Efficiencies, and the discarding of discretionary activities, will buy time, but with caveats.  Efficiencies can never best 100%, and in practice will fall far short of that, whilst starting from somewhere above zero. You end up putting more and more energy into energy efficiency, for less and less return. Some call it EROI, but it's better thought of as ERoEI. It's the energy invested which is crucial, most economists fail to realise that, and think that more 'money' will deliver more energy. Efficiencies must be pursued relentlessly, but won't do it alone.
Big-picture, we have more infrastructure, aging, than we have ever had, and it's more complex than it ever was, and it goes further distance-wise than it ever did. The Romans couldn't hold it together, but their experience is a valuable backgrounder.
Triage, dispassionately, will be the order of the day. Govt, Local Govt, corporate, public, private - all horns will have to be drawn in. In that scenario, no investment or savings for the future, no fund or pension scheme, is safe. There  simply won't be the energy to underwrite the expectation - the same as the old Emperors debasing their coinage.
Neville is quite right about intergenerationality too - fossil fuels are so useful, so irreplaceable, that we should be valuing them way above gold, and should continue to do so until a replacement (qualitively and quantitively) is proven. Conventional nuclear, if asked to take up the load, peaks in around 40 years.

Its not a science website.......there is no science done there just ignornace and politics.
You are probably correct on thorium, which is sad because of Nixon we could have had them by now...we will greatly regret that day politics and vested interests won....
Of course renewabls is questionable on the scale needed to replace fossil fuels....good science and engineerin papers have been saying that for years.
The problem is the pollies and business hyping tehir per usual they clutch at straws or buy time be "done worry about fossil fuel decline we have renewables" or "our future great product will make your fortune just invest in us"....
and these pieces talk about a scientist finding the mass renewables case dodgy and it is so wondering if the AGW problem is similar, it isnt...
What it comes down to is our lifestyle is based an a depleting resource and there is no alternative in sight to replace it and never will be....ergo our lifestyles are going to go.

If you look at the author he has been a "skeptic for many years and it appears has un-clean hands...
'Vahrenholt assume critics that his climate policy statements and publications, and his criticisms were motivated at the IPCC for its work for RWE, since RWE was 2011, the individual companies with the largest CO 2 emissions in the European Union"

OMG thanks for the link, I waited all the time that something of this calibre is  properly published and exposed the scam for what it is.  I just hope, it get's viral and may be our politicians start rethinking!

Gertraud - see my comment above. Those who deny, so often are the same ones who await the magic elixir. He mentions thorium, you harped on about some fellow who claimed to extract 'energy from the atmosphere', as I recall. No magic elixir outpaces exponential growth on a finite planet. No exceptions.
Climate Change is inevitable, given that we are a species who in biological terms are 'swarming', and (just take a look around you ) are impacting so much so fast. It won't be first cab off the rank in the descent, though. Energy depletion, coupled with aging infrastructure, will get us first. The next phase is always wars over resources, and that'll happen earlier too, is my bet.

powerdownkiwi, I did not expect anything else from you. Nobody denies that growth is exponential, but what makes you so certain, that mankind will continue to grow  permanently? 
What makes you so certain that mother nature or man himself (be it through catastrophies, war or by insight)  cannot stop the yeasty growth of mankind of the present?
What makes you so certain that the human spirit and a raised conscousness will not bring a shift?
What makes you so certain that we cannot live on a more humble scale and still be happy?
I was born and grew up with a fraction of your oh so important oil, fraction of food we "have to have" today, fraction of electricity etc.etc. and I assure you, education, insight, human talents, and most of all, thinking und responsibility was fostered and nourished and we were happy.
And on a lighter note, quantum physics is telling us there is nothing firm or fixed, everything in flux,  everything is just a potentiality in waves, so why take the physical things so seriously? Everything is just in transit.  We have not even scratched on the surface of our "real" world.
That's it.

Show me where that has ever happened in human history.

We don't have a record of all of history so you might need to tone down a little.

The problems will be the re-adjustment....and the noers.....when the US says its way of life is not up for negoitiation and its 5% of teh world's population uses 25% of the oil, and oil will decline what do you think the outcome will be? peaceful? orderly?
I dont think so.

When the US says its way of life is not up for negotiation and its 5% of the world's population uses 25% of the oil, and oil will decline what do you think the outcome will be?
It will ratchet up its production of biofuel way past the 1 billion gallons a year it already produces from barely scratching the surface.
What do you think it will do? Sit down and have a good cry like you?
You ain't seen nothing yet, Steven, but keep up your doomsday fantasy. It's good for a laugh.

So you have been praying for a straw to clutch on to so you can sleep well at night knowing at last you are not destrying your children's future by your actions...
oh dear.
So there is one questioner, fair enough.....lets see he wrote a book aiming to make money? oh dear vested interest....and we dont even know the contents....

Ummm, maybe you should look a little deeper at that link.. dragging this site reference out of wikipedia. Poor posting OMG, you can do better than that. 
"After working at KHSL for 17 years, he left in 2004 to become the radio meteorologist for KPAY-AM, a Fox News affiliate also based in Chico, California."
Hahahaha, like Fox news is such a reputable source, even "The Simpsons" takes the P..s out of them. 
And you know what, I dont think you actually even addressed one of Neville Bennett's points properly. 

Yes, of course the many conclusions of the blog are an exaggeration, even assuming that the underlying stuff is valid. In fact the article appears to be a re-posting of an earlier blog post.
For example it can be true that Germany is not doing as well as hyped in renewable energy, but that says absolutely nothing about global warming science. There might be errors in the IPCC report (none were cited, I imagine this is because any 'errors' were insignificant) but this hardly undermines the conclusions of many many papers and reports anyway. In fact climate change was the consensus, when investigative bodies like the IPCC were setup. These organisations were formed by the Thatcher and Regan era governments. The scientific consensus was at the time that if there is not climate change happening then there is a massive flaw in the basic theory of physics, the major investigation since then has been to measure the scale of the greenhouse effect. 
Unfortunately however Fox is basically the world champion in fabricating arguments to morons. I don't expect their audience to die out any time soon.

still pushing the globalist agenda Nic? The Met office of course disagrees together with its 30,000 reading stations.....

Yes, please go right ahead and integrate them into your fictional NWO global conspiracy organisation. Since I have worked with UKMO people on occasion I can of course confirm the secret handshake bit and all that, but I am sorry I really can't let you in on the details because I would have to kill you. Its a troubling thought, because I really have no idea who it is I need to kill.
Of course the daily mail is a highly credible source, that would never indulge in hyperbole and carefully fact checks all its stories. There in the article they are carefully debunking the scientific paper by NWO arch expert Dr Richard Climatopologist, titled alarmingly, "OMG IF THE EARTH KEEPS WARMING AT THIS RATE IT WILL NEVER BE WINTER AGAIN!!!!!, University of Greek Climate Hyperbolation, 2010"
Full Met Office appology and contraction here,

I think people will see your silly ad hom for "watt" it is, LOL

I found this 'article' particularly entertaining.
If you accept the bloggers conclusions there, you fully deserve a life time subscription to Fox news.

Ten years ago I was up in the high Himalaya, the local people were seriously freaked out with the seasonal disturbance to glacial water melt. 
Still, all in all, not that many people live at that high altitude compared to all those living in the Indus or Ganges irrigation dependant  crop-belt.  
What are the chances of the FB-Aye dropping in on Fox?

Not likely, especially considering the way corporate law has moved in the US. There was a test case recently which allowed these political loby groups (called Super Pacs) to be setup.  Super Pacs can run election campaigns without having to register political spending with the politician they support. The condition is that they don't coordinate with the political candidates, but of course this is just denying reality.
Anyway, the legal basis for this case was that we allow media organisations to run political commentary and they are a business, so why should these rights be denied to other businesses. A convincing argument I guess, but only if you ignore the fact that media organisations are given this privilige because they subscribe to a charter which requires them function independent to the politics. Of course pretty much every US news organisation is in breach of its charter, its not just Fox news, they are just the most obvious. But this is the way the law is interpreted in the US these days. The Iranian channel PressTV lost its UK license because they were found in breach of their charter, basically they were determined to be setting editorial policy from Tehran, which would breach the charter (given that the allegations were true). But if you look at the phone hacking case in the UK, you could probably conclude exactly the same of Murdoch owned news outlets because there are many attempts to implicate Murdoch in having knowledge of what happens on the news room floor.
Basically however Fox news actions are not considered in violation of their charter any more in the US.

This is even better!
The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows. The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50 billion tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

Somebody please give that man his Fox news subscription.

Your mind shouldnt, like OMG's be closed......there is global warming the Q is how bad and where will it be the worst....So,
There are some Qs to ask, explain.....for instance because of the el nino / la nina weather pattern we have seen a fairly flat decade of not much warming....or the old data is [partially] wrong....or this piece is in any piece of science it needs peer reviewing / cross referencing...and explaining....look to ther sources....
However the effects of AGW on the North pole and south pole where the biggest impact was predicted is noticable and dire....
So the for case is overwelming.....OMG is infering because one piece maybe inaccurate all of it is.....which is silly....

Thats all true of course. My comment was directed at the incredibly lazy piece of AGW denial which is presented in that article. The author doesn't even attempt to miss represent the underlying study. In you are going to create propaganda then I think the onus is on the author to be creative.
With regard to Fox news however, I don't see any reason to take anything they present seriously because they have absolutely undermined their own credibility. I think its obvious why awarding a subscription is valid here, because their kind of self contradictory idological structure is only invisible to the truely indoctrinated.
Here's your fairly flat decade, from a credible source. Standard practice among deniers is to make some ridiculus claim from a valid study, refuse to engage with any argument about their conclusions (sometimes they retract, but the recycling still occurs!), and then to keep recycling the rubbish as if it was credible. Deniers undermined their own credibility long ago however in my mind, I have seen their rubbish science debunked too many times.

And thanks Neville, I look forward to your expanded posts on this very important document.

A few comments - 
The solution for NZ is obvious - more wind power and a large pumped hydro storage scheme..  please...
Not the retarded plan B for when the Taranaki gas runs out - Genesis and Contact want to import LNG and have plans for an import terminal - this is crazy, we can be smarter than that... Actually with more wind and a pumped storage scheme there would be no need to use our gas resource at 50% efficiency to make electricity at all (let alone import it in future)... we should be saving our gas for our children and / or direct use applications such as heating water at 95% thermal efficiency or turning it into liquid fuels.  Using gas for making electricity is just plain stupid.
Also, why does our government want to give away what small amounts of oil and gas that we do have for a 5% royalty - the 4th lowest rate in the world?  And to international companies that have no interest in finding solutions to the energy crisis that is nearly up on us?  This is ridiculous...  remember – the CEO of the oil company is being paid  to maximise the value of their in ground stock, not to make good long term decisions for the public good.
Energy growth demand is directly proportional to population growth and energy efficiencies have had almost nothing to do with it to date.
Saudi Arabia is not able to produce additional crude oil volume / day and have recently said openly the world should not be relying on them, this means there is no spare capacity in the system... watch out this year or next as global demand surges and production can't keep up.. the price will go crazy..... in any case, since a barrel of oil can do the equivalent amount of work as a human slave working for 5 years with their hands, it's true value is more like $1,000's per barrel... just try to push your car down the road for 20meters is don’t believe me. because new zealand should be energy independat.

"That’s the government view; they want to find oil and sell it, fast. It is not the view of OPEC which has brilliant economists who think that as oil prices are rising they should leave oil in the ground to appreciate in value."
Which is also sums up the attitude of some of the self centred .... around here. To rely on resource extraction for income relegates one to the status of a one trick dog
Try 12 years in man hours to replace a barrel of oil. Engineers have done the calcs but proponents of everlasting growth think they can avoid physics.
(edited for abusive language/ Bernard)

Sometimes I read 'The Economist' magazine, which has sometimes some interesting things to say. But the underlying theme of the magazine is pretty clear. Maybe I can call it the narrative of their view point.
The narrative to me appears to say that the manifest destiny of the human species is to suck all Fossel Fuels out from under the ground as soon as possible (and then presumably to burn them and to extract the energy).
Its a lofty goal, but fully achieveable, and not unlike the destiny of Orc race of middle earth.

Good comments....
The assumption is we can buy gas from abroad.....what if we cant? what if its too expensive? there is risk here.....

OMG – go nuclear - another megalomaniac NZexcess !!
Yes - near Wellington (Beehive) or why not on top of Mt. Ruapehu ??
Reform the corrupt and greedy NZElectricity Industry - built your own power station.
 It would also help to expand the use of technologies, such as photovoltaics, to generate more power in small quantities close to where it is needed.
Establishing a decentralized electricity generation system requires allowing various independent power suppliers to connect their facilities to the power grid on fair terms.
Interesting to read:

Adding to NZeconomic megalomania by J. Key’s government.
As a society - why do we accept in this country the stupid race to the bottom ? Why not have a vision for small, remote, under populated and beautiful New Zealand ?

Couldnt agree more....

When you look at thorium the answer is why not go "nuclear" Its inherently safe and scales down to NZ size.....
China I think from what i read was looking at we'd get plant from there.....

Good one, don't expect the POLL-LIES to fix anything.
"The shortest definition of evil is waste"

"I think MED is too engineer-driven"
Looks belief/econmics driven not engineering driven.......if this is engineering they are useless.

Well, it's a while back but I used to work there - and the biggest challenge was to try to get the engineering to "fit" the ideology!

Which from reading their previous output was my conclusion.....I certianly couldnt work there....I dont do "fits" not to ideology anyway. What's interesting of course is that as a private engineering consultant  a decade back I had to be very careful with PI (personal indemity) insurance......if the client asked for crap and I gave it and it blew they could sue me....I know a compatriot that happened to.....its cost him dearly in reputation and re-insurance, he almost couldnt get insurance and then of course one will use you without millions in PI behind you.
If you work directly for such losers as this lot, well there is no come back....faceless and blameless......
and such correct, true and justifiable information to plan your future is critical...
As OMG says for instance power consumption has declined over the recession, if like me you think we have a 20 year recession/depression and that shrink continues, that changes the investment decision hugely....

Tiwai Point contract exit - see point 6.  Can this be discussed further and the costs and benefits quantified?  Since Manapouri power station was built the southland dairy industry has exploded and could be a much more profitable for NZ use of this locally produced power, at the same time freeing up other generation.  Eliminating Tiwai point power use - which is basically exporting our resources at zero margin - could be the single easiest, cheapest way to change the supply/demand balance of electricity in New Zealand for the life of the Manapouri power station (50years?)

If someone can work out cheaper methods for double glazing, solar panels, and wind turbines that can be set up in some home areas that would help lower future electricity demand. Its obvious that lower energy light bulbs should be the own type of light bulb available through retail outlets in NZ. Oil and gas found in NZ should be used in the most energy efficient manner possible.

The resource consent act keeps widescale wind production from being built, its simply too costly to build.  Unlike all other western countries, NZ does not subsidize wind power.  All our wind farms are actually profitable due to high winds.  Imagine what we could have with a little subsidy and less red tape?
'Energy efficient' light bulbs are not much more efficient here at all, since the old style incandescent bulbs they are compared to give off more heat than light, and that heat is not much of a problem in NZ, especially on a cold day.
On top of that you have toxic mercury in those 'efficient' bulbs and the cost of safely disposing of that mercury is not included in those efficiency calculations, and neither are the health issues caused by mercury in our environment.  When we get the cost of LED bulbs down we'll have truly efficient lighting.  CF bulbs are a bridge technology not worth bothering with.
If you want people to reduce energy usage, tax electricity and make it more expensive.  Then we'll have real efficiency and a sudden influx of good ideas.  Necessity is the  mother of invention.

There is definitely climate change,it's called the holocene and has been happening for some 15 to 20 thousand years. So there's no need to get into a funk and panic about it.
Nuclear will be the future.If it weren't for Green scaremongering and panicky politicians the science would be a long way advanced by now.
In the meantime we have lots of cheap  coal so we should be using it .

Umm, no. In fact this astronomical cycle is not correlated with the present rise in aggregate temperature.

Niether is CO2 and carbon emissions, particularly when 'water vapour'  accounts for the largest of all greenhouse effects on earth. 
"Gaseous water represents a small but environmentally significant constituent of the atmosphere. The percentage water vapor in surface air varies from a trace in desert regions to about 4% over oceans.[11]Approximately 99.13% of it is contained in the troposphere. The condensation of water vapor to the liquid or ice phase is responsible for clouds, rain, snow, and other precipitation, all of which count among the most significant elements of what we experience as weather. Less obviously, the latent heat of vaporization, which is released to the atmosphere whenever condensation occurs, is one of the most important terms in the atmospheric energy budget on both local and global scales. For example, latent heat release in atmospheric convection is directly responsible for powering destructive storms such as tropical cyclones and severethunderstorms. Water vapor is also the most potent greenhouse gas owing to the presence of the hydroxyl bond which strongly absorbs in the infra-red region of the light spectrum. Because the water vapor content of the atmosphere will increase in response to warmer temperatures, there is a water vapor feedback which is expected to amplify the climate warming effect due to increased carbon dioxide alone. It is less clear how cloudiness would respond to a warming climate; depending on the nature of the response, clouds could either further amplify or partly mitigate warming from long-lived greenhouse gases."
The ironic thing right now is the Northern Hemisphere is having on the coldest winters on record which could quite possibly be caused by a partial Gulf Stream shut down. Too much fresh artic water ice melt meeting the sea (which is what all CC believers confirm) could actually be contributing to massive cooling. Sounds feasible and quite natural to me.

Nuclear will be the future.If it weren't for Green scaremongering and panicky politicians the science would be a long way advanced by now.
I have a brother near Harrisburg, PA - the home of 3 Mile Island.  It gives me the heebeegeebees every time I fly in or out over the nuclear plant and stare down the now idle third reactor's cooling shaft.  Spooky thinking what lurks below!

* Neville Bennett was a long-time Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Canterbury, where he taught since 1971. His focus is economic history and markets. He is also a columnist for the NBR.
Yet, he has no knowledge relating to prohibited "cross street generation" laws and "residual heat capture"generation.
This article is flawed and misses the obvious point:
All these problems could be solved if ANYONE could generate and sell back to a universally public owned grid without being forced to sell back to any ONE supplier or monopoly. A company could sell to the company up the road. Your neighbour could sell to you across the forth and so forth. 

Justice - I can't find any law or regulation that prohibits "cross street generation."  Do you know the name of the act that prohibits it.  ie if I can whip up a few megawatts and start flogging them off to the neighbours, which agency is going to turn up to slap the cuffs on me? Police, council, OSH....? 

Try it and see!. I suggest you contact the Energy minister with your question as to why power generation is fine for 'yourself and back to your supplier, but supply to '3rd party" is full of obstacles,red tape and illegal "cross street" not only in NZ but here in the US and almost every western country .
Might have something to do with Governments being the biggest shareholders in these companies and infrastructure.
You will find I am 100% correct regardless 

Most interesting, thanks for the link.

The irony of course is if steven will ever reach peak comment, where he responds to absolutely everyone?

The classic signs of a "follower" which in turn characterises "not a leader"

Well robby, haven't you noticed, he even responds to himself.

Gertraud - at least he doesn't believe in fairies, clutch at straws, or believe believingly.
Puts him ahead of some.

Wake up have been sold a pup!
1.London (CNN) -- Europe remained gripped by frigid temperatures and snow Friday, with the icy weather closing much of the Danube River to shipping and disrupting travel across the region.
Central and Eastern Europe have borne the brunt of the unseasonably bitter weather, which has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of cases of frostbite and hypothermia.
Twenty-two countries have posted warnings for extreme cold temperatures and accumulating snow, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
The big freeze is not likely to end any time soon, Miller said, with the Arctic air forecast to continue spilling deep into Europe, keeping temperatures well below average and allowing the snow to continue to pile higher and higher.
In Ukraine, the worst-affected country, well over 100 people have died and more than 3,000 have sought hospital treatment.
State news agency Ukrinform said more than 120 ships -- most of them foreign -- were trapped in the Kerch Strait, linking the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, because of ice.
Parts of the Danube River, one of the most important rivers in Europe for commerce, have nearly frozen over for the first time in 25 years.
Sea level is lower than eight years ago, and may have just passed the lowest annual peak in the Envisat record.
It must be all those melting glaciers pouring into the sea,  which the University of Colorado told us about today.


It's extraordinary,even a cold winter won't put these idiots off. What's it a sign of? Yep,global warming.
Soon enough the majority will wake up to the big hot ball in the sky.In the meantime it's more guilt and tax.

The people are being manipulated, kowtow. The media is studiously ignoring this continuing cold snap. Death toll now 400, 23,000 cut off, snow to their roof line.  Imagine if there  had been 400 deaths from a heat would have been full of it!

And let's not forget our cold snap last year either. Who remembers the snow falling in Auckland (not seen since 1942) or the 2" on the ground in Palmerston North not seen since 1911, as I do? Bit of a stretch to be blaming that on a failure of the Gulf Stream I would have thought. And what about our cold summer this year? My tomatoes took 6 weeks longer to ripen this year than they normally do. I suppose they were just being denialists too.
You bad tomatoes!
Surely now, after all these decades of relentless CO2 driven anthropogenic global warming, it should not be possible to witness global cold weather events of such magnitude, if the global warming computer models are correct? I’ll give them 10 years, and if the world is not demonstrably warmer and the severe cold events less and more rare, then they’ll be toast along with those who wrote them.

2011 was the 9th warmest and 2010 was the equal warmest year on record despite La Nina weather patterns and your examples of cold anomalies. Noone has ever said that increased greenhouse gases would decrease the probability of extreme cold events:

don't let scientific facts get in the way of a good conspiracy -   according to the above powerhouses of scientific reasoning ice cores proving historical temperature increases are in direct proportion to CO2 in the atmosphere were analysed by green nutjobs and media fruitcakes

one storm doesn't make an ice age but it does make the last decade very active with regards to extreme weather events

You do realise the x axis is in thousands of years? Hence the relationship is not as 'direct' as you make out.

I'm not "making out" anything - the greenhouse effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is beyond debate. It can't get any more "direct" than that.


I'm not debating the greenhouse effect per-se merely the timing of the response. You purport to state that the response is direct, but that is illusory, because of the scale of the graph.
If you judge it by eye, the greatest past change in temperature has been a ~11degree celcius change occuring over maybe 10-12 thousand years. Or to put it another way ~0.0011 degrees/yr.

I didn't mention response times but the proportionality of CO2  vs Temp is certainly "direct"  and is not inverse or logarithmic 

Historically the rise in CO2 lags the rise in Temp by around 800 yrs - this fact does not mean that the greenhouse effect is false

You've just skewered your own argument.
If the rise in CO2 lags the rise in temp by 800yrs then where are the notably higher temperatures (in the order of several degress - according to your ice-core graph) to correlate with the higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere we have now?

My argument is sound -  the evidence couldn't be any clearer.

You are totally ignorant..."thought" ive never see it off you yet.
The computer models predict(ed) as the system warms we will see more and more severe extremes in both cold, warm, dry and wet events (though more hot ones than cold) and this is what is happening...
"I'll give" you already have written them off in your mind...  Bad weather events will actually be more frequent....
The big consequence will be to your pocket in the form of re-insurance will either find that policies will start to get exclusions or the costs will rocket....even I suspect in the coming decades no insurance is possible or affordable....which means far fewer mortgages will be written.....

Clearest view of how far into peak oil we are can be seen in the new fields coming on line. Tar sands, deep sea drilling etc. All more difficult / risky / expensive. Deepwater Horizon, had it been successful, would have generated enough oil for 24 hours global supply.
The cheap and easy oil is definitely in decline. 
Seems likely to me that we will fall into an energy trap, if we haven't already. There's very little evidence of political foresight and maturity to indicate otherwise. The energy trap concept is discussed in Do The Math, a great blog if you're into energy topics:

The political foresight has been dont tell us and dont tell anyone else...huge can kicking.....and it still continues...
I love that blog.....

Science is not rhetoric. It finds what is real and does not concern itself with what is convincing. That can be damned inconvenient when the reality is one of impending but indirectly inferred disaster but an entire industry specialising in rhetoric is selling smiley badges.

Puppets on a string: US think tank funds NZ sceptics
The Heartland Institute, the US organisation that plays a key role in organised climate denial, has directly funded New Zealand’s most prominent sceptics, a search of US Internal Revenue Service documents has revealed. In 2007, Heartland granted US$25,000 (NZ$32,000) to the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition, sending the money to NZ CSC member Owen McShane. They also gifted the International Climate Science Coalition US$45,000 (NZ$59,000), forwarding the cash to NZ CSC webmaster and ICSC founding chairman Terry Dunleavy. The documents do not reveal what the money was used for, but four NZ CSC members attended the December 2007 Bali conference as part of an ICSC delegation. Bryan Leyland, energy advisor to both CSCs, confirmed in 2008 that “some expenses” for the trip had been covered by Heartland, but the NZ CSC has never revealed the full extent of the Heartland Institute funding of their operations, or its role in the expansion of their “climate science coalition” franchise.
The Grand children will be proud!

Written works by Bryan Leyland are an interesting read
....he quite rightly says wind has issues for our lifestyle, due to its intermittant the q has to be asked (and he never does from what I can read) if we cant get the energy how will our lifestyle have to change.....which is of course where the heartland Institute comes in as the American way of life is not up for negoitiation...
He also seems to ignore capacity and for him he sees no sense in having wind as the primary source as its renewable and hydro as the backup as NZ hydro's capacity is limited yet the capital cost of teh hydro is paid we keep the limited tank of water for when there isnt the wind doesnt seem to dawn on him.  Ditto tidal and in the change over use hydro....
Wind is 11~14 cents a KWH....yet I pay its a profit to sell me as a residential consumer wind....Smelting and large businesses pay 3~6 cents....for them their energy costs would double and maybe make that un-economic.....which is the point in the future as fossil fuels run out....much economic activity will cease to be worthwhile so we have to change to activity that is.
Interesting that he's got various awards for "lifetime achievements", yet he's firmly planted in the past....and blind to our future problems....the biggest of which is there will be a lifestyle change and it wont be that great...hardly surprising he's in the deniers camp...

A recent book:  The Science Delusion outlines the framework limitations of "Science".
In reality, science is locked into a series of dogmas that are largely untested and to some extent untestable, which for science ought to be the great no-no. Yet they must be adhered to, or risk the charge of flakiness and loss of grant. In The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake drags ten of the most powerful dogmas out of the basement and into the light of day; and does science, humanity and the world a large, a considerable favour.
Basically, science cannot explain or solve all issues ...

"Basically, science cannot explain or solve all issues ..."
Only a strawman argument would claim that science is even trying to explain or solve all issues, it is hardly a small undertaking.
The key question is if we aren't going to adhere to scientifc method of improvement and investigation, what alternative system do we use?
I wouldn't say its science that adheres to dogmas it is the humans themselves, which is always the great battle.

... like Sheldrake's idea of morphic resonance, which is essentially unprovable and doesn't explain anything not already covered by the theory of evolution.

While science cannot explian all issues, thats does not mean it does not solve enough problems and relaibly enough taht you cannot use it as a basis for a best effort decision...
Far better to make a decision base  on the best maths, data, logic and science available than religious or political belief.....unfortunately for the last 30 years the latter is what our pollies have done and continue to do.

Need more energy? Dam a few valleys and build some hydroelectric power stations. Who cares if a few birds and critters lose their homes. The bigger problem will be getting politicians to show some leadership and embark on such projects.

Yep, the problem with "sustainable/renewable" energy sources is they are now no longer "sustainable' cos of a fish or two. Goal posts keep getting moved.
Problem is we're actually  spoilt,if we were really in the sh#t ,the chardonay socialists,cafe culture latte mob wouldn't be prepared to cook over charcoal fires and they'd be screaming "drill baby drill" and "dig baby dig".

You make some incorrect assumptions...
1) It will hit that brown stuff, post peak oil its a cert
Im not sure what you mean by the second paragraph its a seem to be mixing AGW with energy....they are different subjects...
2) No point in drilling when there isnt the oil in the ground....or it costs more to drill than from other sources, at best all you do is delay the shortages/decline and make it worse when the drop really starts...
So, blaming the  "chardonay socialists"  makes no sense...the biggest group are actualy right of centre...not left....
also "charcol fires" makes no sense are ew now on AGW? or still on energy?......what is needed is a move to more certinly the NIMBIES are about to get their world turned around....and many of these with their life style blocks are National voters....not left wing plonks....
Generally when Peak oil dawns n the world's popualtion there will be a mad dash for fossil fuels..its inevitable its the life blood of our economy...hence when BE says,
1) Inflation is beaten, its because GDP will start to shrink...its defaltion now ahead of us.
2) we have to get our resources out into the tradable sector, he understands, Im 90%+ of it....he knows we are screwed....

kowtow - if they did, they'd be demonstrating short-term ignorance. Clearly that process will end, and clearly it's going to get progressively more difficult, with progressively less real return. Only an idiot would say it was a valid pathway forward.

It will come, within 5 years it will be blindingly obvious that peak oil will mean less energy available and a shrinking economy due to prices and shortages.....then watch the mad scramble for alternatives.

Both are not transport energy....not easily so the next few years I expect that such projects will go ahead, the problem will be the cost to do them will have escalated and the time lag until they are ready....inthe meantime we will get hit in the pocket.

I came across this today. No not on TV7 with it's relentlessly warmist agenda or any other so called mainstream channels. I found it via the internet.
It's a 2007 doco called The Great Global Warming Swindle,from Channel 4 in the UK. One hour and 13 mins. It kills me that the great climate doco is the rubbish from Gore with his lies about climate refugees coming to NZ,anyone remember that?

The Great swindle has been disected, its full of lies and deceit....hence why it isnt generally published anymore.....once exposed it got marginalised, most jouralists and media like to put out the truth.....
The hockey stick on the other hand has proven to be good science smeared by those with a political agenda....and yes Gore is quite possibly right on climate refugees....we have excess food and our climate wont be too badly that is a risk.

You have 11 ships with oil servicing 9 consumers. Prices are low.
10 for 10, prices are steady...
9 for 10 prices sky rocket (especially if the product being shipped is oil).
The rise , when it comes will be sudden, and massive, assuming we still have a planet!
NZ needs to:
Force through more insulation for homes and offices (and retro-fit to the appauling existing housing/office stock using tax/ incentives).
Force though building of hydro, wave (and tidal) and wind farms on a truly massive scale.
Ban all Fracking to safeguard water which is actually more precious than oil
Mandate, at Govt level, export restriction (tax) of high energy use items where alternatives exist (force low energy light bulbs to be cheaper).
Force through legislation to save energy (how many, mainly civil service, empty offices leave all computers running all night?) - penalize for night time electricity wher the actual use cannot be justified.
Force more tax onto polluters... I use Meridian Energy, as it has the most renewable energy as its sources; but it costs more; this is madness! Meridian is also the only company that will buy surplus electricity back from you  - GO Meridian!!!
The government should set the playing field rules and is failing very badly in this regard.
And please don't be stupid enough to build nuclear plants in an earthquake zone you complete morons!

We have pleanty of energy, and pleanty of resources.  What we don't have is enough money.  Every home should have PV, and geothermal.  The reason they don't is the same reason people die of starvation, malnutrition and disease.
The harsh cruelty of the system, is that you cannot allow everyone to be rich, the more money people have the more worthless it becomes.  Only those that aquire money faster then it is being debased can afford to live in comfort and security. 
What we desperatly need is a society that functions for the benfit of humanity.  It is possible using science and technology, to live in a totally sustainable way, in a world of abundance instead of imposed scarcity.  Instead our grandchildren will be in the same situation as us, jumping from crisis to crisis, to crisis.  The scarcity comes from the lack of money, and there will always be a lack of money. 

This last 100 years will be referred to as the "mad years"; where we simply squandered precious resources with total disregard to the future generations.
There are numerous tipping points that the world is approaching and all have massive effects; from where Oil consumption is higher than Oil production through to The acidity level in the Sea causing a collapse in Plankton and the whole food chain.
I am very concerned, and saddened, that the decision governing out planet are being made by people that have to get re-elected every three/four years and as such will NOT face the difficult decisions that have to be made and these politicion (in some countries, like USA, can be bought so easilly by big banks/business).
Just consider in a few years:
The true cost of transport/shipping products has sky-rocketed and it only makes econmic sense to buy/sell locally.
The global economy has collapsed making goverment backed money virtually redundent.
NZ, having been smart, (built massive sources of re-newable energy) has not squanderd it's resoruces and is actually in a great position as it now can barter with food/water as it produces 10 times more than it needs and has surplus water stored in huge dams.
NZ has kept its local business alive and productive and can actually produce stuff locally!
Consider water is being shipped from NZ to Australia (it's actually illegal, even now, to have a shower for more than 5 minutes in some parts) in exchange for resources.
What scares me even more is that America is so addicted to Oil that it is bartering Aircraft  Carriers to some countries that have their eyes on NZ!... what would we do then? ask Somoa to come over to help protect us (possibly even from America itself as it sees our resources and  feel the need to "free the s%^$t "out of us too)?

I dont think NZ was smart in building re-newable energy...right for the wrong reason, yes...or at least there is no evidence Muldoon could see how this century was going to be....hence building dams was luck for us....NZ has too small a population to have used up its resources unlike say Britain...its also quite a way to a market when theose markets had bigger and closer resources to its chance IMHO...
"eyes on NZ" URL? really we are too far and too small....what will make invading us crazy will be the cost to ship whatever is here back let alone getting a force here,,,....sure the odd nuclear carrier...its escorts, supply and the troop ships all use oil however...then you have to shipall the troops back...oh wait they'd need a soldier with a gun at every kiwis head while we make somethings to ship back for them.....which there wont be the oil for anyway..
"more than it needs" yes i sort of agree, except the oil and energy imputs into such will be far higher, so we will produce less...


As UK suffers -18 temps overnight, meanwhile Serbia has started implementing power cuts in a desperate bid to stave off the collapse of its national grid as the country suffers the effects of days of freezing temperatures
EPS, the state-run power company, said it would cut power to industry first, warning that unless demand falls by about 10 per cent in the next few days the entire system could collapse under the strain .
It has urged the public via a national television address to save electricity, .
Temperatures as low as -30C have sent demand soaring but also interrupted coal production, restricting supplies to Serbia's coal-fired power stations. With the bad weather affecting neighbouring countries Serbia has also been unable to import extra energy to boost supplies.
Zoran Manasijevic, EPS's assistant director, said that some 2,000 companies will have their power cut over the next few days, but stressed supplies for domestic consumers and vital buildings such as hospitals will remain unaffected.
The power cuts comes as most of Europe still battles the unrelenting grip of a cold front that has brought chaos and death to the continent for almost two weeks.
Villages buried under 4-5 meters of snow: 'Snow above the roof tops. All you see are the chimneys...'People have to climb down through trenches to get into their homes'
Frozen Danube river is costing shippers millions
Over 500 die in Europe's persistent big freeze
Just Released NOAA Data Shows January Temperatures Cooling At -17.3°F/Century Rate; U.S. At -4.1°F/Century Rate
Despite a warm 2012 January in the U.S., overall January temperatures over the last 15 years have fallen off a cliff - falling at a minus seventeen degrees per century rate
When all months are included (not just January), the U.S. has experienced a cooling trend contrary to all "consensus" CO2-based climate predictions;
The powers that be would have us believe that 20th century global warming was "unprecedented" when in fact empirical study after study proves that myth to be without scientific merit. And now a new study demolishes that myth conclusively - will the discredited 'hockey stick' caricature of past temperatures now finally die?
"Working with the GISP2 ice core from the Summit region of central Greenland, Kobashi et al. reconstructed Greenland surface snow temperature variability over the past 4000 years with a method that utilizes nitrogen and argon isotopic ratios..."The estimated average Greenland snow temperature over the past 4000 years was −30.7°C with a standard deviation of 1.0°C and exhibited a long-term decrease of roughly 1.5°C, which is consistent with earlier studies. The current decadal average surface temperature (2001–2010) at the GISP2 site is −29.9°C. The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century-long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years..."" [Takuro Kobashi, Kenji Kawamura, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Jean-Marc Barnola, Toshiyuki Nakaegawa, Bo M. Vinther, Sigfús J. Johnsen, Jason E. Box 2011: Geophysical Research Letters]
Arctic Greenland was warmer than modern warming during the Bronze, Roman and Medieval periods - ergo, modern warming not unprecedented
Despite massive industrial/consumer human CO2 emissions, modern warming is easily within natural climate variation
Scientists claiming that modern warming is "unprecedented" are simply lying (or, amazingly ignorant of the plethora of actual empirical evidence)

Yeah right.  All my European correspondents - gardeners, photographers and landowners all - have reported an astounding lack of winter up until the last week or two. So it changed.  Talking of frozen boats on the Danube tells you about this week - nothing else.

Of course it was warmer in the Medieval period. How do you think Greenland got its name? Eric the Red tried to market Greenland as ideal for dairy farming; he would have done well in 21st century New Zealand.  It's the current rate of change that is unprecedented.

The current rate of change is unprecedented?  How do you know that?  The earth cycles from warm to cold, it's well documented.  Frozen Mammoths have been discovered, with green feed in their mouths.  Thats a pretty fast change, from growing, to freezing to death.
This appears to me, to just be part of regular cycle, the earth has, oscilating between hot and cold.  You can argue whether or not man has caused it, if we were entering an ice age, no doubt we would try and take credit for that too.  100 years of data, is less then a heartbeat in the life of the earth.  I'll compare it to watching a lung expand with an indrawn breath, as the expansion takes place, we conclude that the lung will surely burst, then have the conciet to blame ourselves.  Little understanding that it is all part of process.  Species come and go, "it's not the strong that survive, nor the intelligent, but those most responsive to change" - Charles Darwin.

Millions of years from ice core and tree ring samples. Darwin was correct, but he may not have been fully aware of the impact of cascading mass extinctions. We are in one of those eras. This mass exinction is not primarily due to climate change, but mankind has been responsible for most of it.

Why are you guys arguing backwards and forwards about issues, which are so controversial – scientific driven by lobby groups and not enough researched anyway.
The fact is we do have more extreme weather events costing societies/ businesses billions.

Relying on wind for 100% of our power is dumb.  But it is equally as dumb to use none at all.  The question is how much,  Given New Zealand's networks unique characteristic of readily variable hydro production and the unusually vast storage capacity we have,  the 'right mix of wind production into the system would seem to be 20% - perhaps 30% 

When we have exxess wind pmp water up the moutain....
Then when wind is scarse let if flow back down and produce megawatts...
Not rocket science (well perhaps for politicions)!

Lets take that a bit further, what if wind is all we have?
and the storage isnt vast....2 dry years in a row and we have problems, 3 is really not good.....and that will happen.. then we will see brown and blackouts....
20% wind with something to back that 20% up is essential if our businesses and economy is going to function in the future....We have got lazy.....fossil fuels took "where do I get my next meal, keep warm or travel" off our will come back..

You are going at this with missionary zeal.
And yes, if you bothered to read the story that headlines these comments you'll see Kyoto/emmissions....duh
Hockey stick good science,hah hah hah,a manipulated model projection of a future event is not science. It's science fiction,and with global warming alarmism it's also political activism.
Enjoy the holocene.

When its our future, yes sure I want to protect it.....the "missionary zeal" is the religious and political fundies who deny AGW, as they seem to think there is no way the bible  or their voodoo economics is wrong......despite real evidence to the contary...

Steven - do you reckon kowtow is our Hong-Kong based OMG trying to earn more money as a spinner? Times getting tough in the high rises?

Kunst.  I can't speak for others but my motive for trying to offset the propaganda about AGW is simple. I care about humanity. We have allowed our children to be terrified, we have diverted funding and effort away from the important issues of reducing pollution, providing clean water,  food production , planning for ethical energy use. We have failed to provide for the possibility of the earth cooling rather that heating. This in spite of the historical patterns of climate . 
People in europe are indeed suffering, tens of thousands can still not be reached. And yet with great confidence climate scientists told us a few years ago "Children will not know what snow is in the future".
The dam in Brisbane that caused the floods to be so fatally devastating, was not released in a controlled way as it was designed to do  because the climate modelers were threatening endless drought.
We have allowed climate"modelers" to scare us into having to pay carbon taxes, the corrupt trading of  which are simply an arm of the banking cartel. All this needless suffering and waste of resources on what is being increasingly revealed as very dodgy manipulation of data.  The excessive IPCC projections of temperature rise and sea level rise have failed to happen in fact there has been a cooling trend since 1998.  We must investigate and think for ourselves at all times.  There is an agenda, which is about control by fear. I have always been sorry that environmentalists got drawn into the AGW panic instead of continuing the worthwhile work.

prosperopink - the real issues.
A description of air pollution and the consequences on health/ environment. This fact alone should force societies to rethink use of recourses and better ways of saving power/ energy.
Worldwide, we are all experiencing a sharp increase in severe weather events  in the last few years.
The two events, and that’s really important are increasingly costing governments, businesses and societies billions to repair damages.  

"Worldwide, we are all experiencing a sharp increase in severe weather events in the last few years."
We are definitely experiencing increased media reportage of weather events which is not the same as an increase extreme weather events themselves.
Reporting weather events on the TV is cheap to produce/report, most done from home viewers sending in their youtube videos. Great for media companies bottom lines as they don't actually need to do any journalism themselves.
It's always interesting on any given news bulletin just which worldwide weather event they decide to pick up on from all their news syndicates.
I mean you'll get minutes of coverage of European snow storms spun as caused by global warming, and then in the next segment, "oh by the way there was a huge earthquake in the Phillipines" and all you'll get no pictures, just studio anchor doing an autocue read.

What were loss $ value ex Volcanoes+Earthquakes? How does this differ from past years?
I would have thought given we have more 'stuff' to insure each year, hence more stuff that is vulnerable, you would expect the $ value to be higher every year.

Go to the sub –sections also. If we like or not “Climate change” and as a consequence severe weather events are increasing.
Here another convincing report:

I'm not sure what that Wikipedia link is purporting to show, it's hardly evidence of anything other than recency bias. As for that report, who knew that everything about the complexity of severe world weather and distribution about where is occurs could be summarised into 4 pages. I see no measurement, but plenty of speculation.
My point is that lets suppose we have two seperate years with only one weather event/year - a massive hailstrorm with big hailstones. In year 1 the storm occurs over the ocean, result no damage to anything. Year two the hailstorm occurs over the eastern suburbs of Sydney, with all those luxury cars parked out in the street owing to the general lack of garaging. Insurance claims might be in the order of hundreds of millions.
Now can we say that the 'weather is now more extreme', simply because of the $ value of claims. Of course we can't for reasons which should be obvious.

We cant and ont say weather is more extreme based on a single event or size of a single claim and the Insurance industry does not.....What they do look at is the rate such events occur and label them 1 in 100 year events, or 1 in 5 events, or 1 in 1000 year events....and they certanly correct for inflation.
So based on these timescales they set their premiums....if and as is happening those 1 in 100 year events occur 1 in 20 or even 1 in 5 then the insurance rates will change greatly...and even become prohibitive....and thats very likely.....So Id suggest you consider that the insurance you have today is chaep comapred to what it will climb to in the next few decades...if you can even get insurance.
"obvious" yeah right...

The climate modellers dont threaten endless drought, and have never done so.  They do expect ever more extreme conditions and droughts and floods are just two of them......conditions that the dam's builders owners ignored as 1 in 100 or 1000 year events....which are now happening as one in 20....
Climate scientists and snow...I dont believe me a URL....
1998, to start with 2005 and 2009/10 - are on par with 1998, so claiming a drop is at best mistaken......we have had at best a fkat decade due to the el nino/lanina effect being the biggest effect on weather so has given the appearance of no rise.....just wait for that to swap over....records will be set.
From the first three statements of yours which are at best simply  your own mis-imformed comments or even lies on your part, its clear taht, care, yeah right only about avoiding your own lack of owning up to your responsibility.
"worthwhile work" as in ensuring your lifestyle continues and your mind left at ease with no nastie thoughts you are ruining the world for your children and grandchidren you mean? Sorry, doesnt work that way.

Then why all the scares?
You have to admit with the last one, if Jellyfish stocks were instead decreasing GW would be blamed also. Amazing how GW can always have it both ways.
You have to face up to the fact that the sole purpose of these type of reports is to generate fear in the name of the cause - nothing more - nothing less.

Too much to comment on in this report but briefly:
How many competitive markets exist where the highest bidder sets the price for all suppliers? e.g. Meridian has a lot of water to get rid off and offers at say $50/MWh but it's the middle of a cold snap and our old mates at Huntly can see supply is constrained and offers at $150/MWh. Everyone gets paid at $150/MWh. A flawed industry model? You bet.
The argument that the price today has to pay for future generation costs is nonsense. Only monopoly industries can fully expect all the risk to be delegated to the consumer. Either let the wholesale market be centralised (a scary thought, I know) or let the market fully deregulate (even scarier?) because this hybrid model isn't working.
Don't let Brownlee fool everyone into thinking that their recent market reforms have introduced more competition into the market and as a result has constrained price increases. Its a temporary blip. The cost of acquiring and losing customers is expensive and there is simply a lag in ensuring those costs are recovered.
Only when the consumer eventually realises that as every year passes, the proportion of their income that is being allocated to energy is increasing at a rate that is unsustainable will a change in behaviour follow. 

There is a good current summary article on the various energy options available at the moment here for those seeking information:
Energy sources have been ranked on various criteria (abundance, accessibility etc). It makes sobering reading especially for those who believe a techno-fix is just around the corner. With Brent oil at $US118 (despite the fact that the Eurozone is in recession and the US is experiencing sub-par growth (to put it mildly), so demand is way down) the techno-fix had better arrive damn quickly.

I think that before you triumphantly proclaim this ‘web page’ as an oracle of absolute truth on the feasibility of alternative energy sources, Andrew, you should say what the author himself has said.
The matrix I’ve created is not without its biases and subjectivity. (note for kate) Whose would be? But the beauty is, you can change the matrix any way you see fit and make your own custom version. Go buy some crayons today!
In other words he is making it quite clear that he is expressing his opinion, Andrew, and not absolute fact.

You might want to drill deeper - this article is a summary of a series of articles the author has done on each of the energy sources. There is a mass of information on each resource in each article, all back catalogued at that website. Each article has then been subject to involved and diverse discussion. Your own favorite technofix (biofuels I believe, of the algal variety?) is extensively dissected.

One of my favourite 'technofix' as you put it, which is currently in commercial development, doesn't even appear on his list!! Shows you how thorough it is! But then, what would a physicist know about biology and biological fuels, of which oil is?

DavidB - that's a silly argument. Actually, it;s so silly a comment that it doesn't rate as an argument.
All biology relates to energy. Every food-chain is energy passed-on, and all energy starts with solar. We can know, with 100% confidence, that the oil (which is indeed of biological origin) was the result of millions of years of converted solar energy, stored until we re-crack the carbon bonds. We are going to get through the entire accessible supply in one 200-year pig-out.
We can also know, with 100% confidence, that the calorific output of algae, doesn't scale up to replace oil. The ERoEI doesn't go near. I'm presuming that is the magic elixir to which you cling?

Since you have neither expertise in,  nor understanding of, biology or physics, I'm not at all surprised that the obvious just slips you by.

What's the obvious?

Kate -give DavidB a chance. He's got to have breakfast, before he can tap away.
If it was toast, every calorie he ate represented 10 calories of fossil fuel. If it was toast, he circumvented the ERoEI of his digestion, by using the energy which started with the sun, which evaporated the water which reformed as clouds at the dew-point, due to the adiabatic lapse rate. They precipitated, became rivers, and these were dammed (using fossil fuels) to store potential energy, which is transformed into kinetic energy, which is transformed into electrical energy, which is transformed into heat energy. This displaces the energy he would have needed to invest in digesting the raw grain, thus giving him more surplus energy per time, do do other things (gave him a better ERoEI, in other words).
He just has an erroneous grasp of what he is: A biological entity entirely reliant on energy input.
It's obvious.

There is actually quite a simple answer to the fantasy that all these new energy sources can be conjured up as the snap of your fingers. If we aren't using it now, then it doesn't exist.


DavidB, I'm still curious about what in your opinion is the obvious omission in the linked analysis.

Rubbish, PDK shows great capability in understanding physcis , maths plus engineering neither of which you have shown any capability of and certianly not capable of judgeing it in you most clearly demo here.
So you have, by the sounds of it invested your money in a wonkie get rich quick scheme, I'll let fear take its course....and your losses.
Like Ive said before bet on voodoo economics and make believe religious mumbo jumbo and thats your loss.

PDK's a bit short on  Economics 101 training.
If I burn 2 bbls of oil ex tar sands @ say  $ 10 bbl to make 1 bbl of refined crude worth $ 100 bbl - then I have a negative nett energy output but it is still economic as demonstrated by all the tar sands expansion in Canada. 
EROEI is just a complete nonsense as it ignores price !

You 101 is sadly lacking...farce in fact. price is nonsense because it ignores ERoEI...
To get the oil to a burnable state its worth $60 to $90USD a cant burn the "sand" in anyway meaningful its a solid block made mostly up of incombustibles (silicon) something oxygen cant get through so it wont burn or function (as a fuel).....something like your brain I at best you are burning $100 to get $200,  NET you are $100.......
Our global economy needs a ERoEI of 10 to 1 or better to function as it is.....the above shows 2 to 1....."simple economics" might say to you Ive made 100% profit....but the econommy cant function at that.....
What the sands is doing is converting one energy which is Natural gas to a transprt fuel a car can use, ie petrol....and also using huge quanities of water and leaving huge environmental damage with the waste ponds....
Not to mention the sands is 3 or 6% of the future oil consumption, its simply too hard to scale up, no water and no N. gas to do it with....

JB - that's a scary precis of a piece of total horseshit.
Tar-sands as a source of delivered energy, are exactly the problem - far too much energy invested (natural gas for one) and far too many resources (water for one) for what is produced.
Yes, it gives you energy, but the usable result is a fraction of the claimed reserve.
(the last has further references).
Nothing like being informed.


Well if its LanzaTech there is a very nice dissection of their technology in one of those articles as well (I seem to remember you boosting them). You should read the critique, its rather revealing. huge crock....if nothing else its ERoEI isnt high enough for our economy (>10 to 1) to replace fossil fuels ie 30 to 1...not even wind at 14:1
The alternative tech on the ground today isnt either, but its all we have...and thats what we have to deploy over the next 5 to 10 years because there is no time for anything the -ve is our lifestyles will decay to meet the capability of the available alternative tech.
The smelter is toast for one, we dont need that much we wont be wasting energy on its output.

He is showing what is probably the closest available to the real facts....he is presenting the best data, got better data, put it pie in the sky draw a crayon make believe........

Don't know if this clip has been shown here before, if so, my apologies.
But it lost nothing from its black satire.
"The daily show"  on US trying to become oil independent

My understanding of climate change is that there will be greater volatility and more extreme weather events as the change in temperature will destabilize the equilibrium. 
Yes, carbon tax is a racket, but more than that it's blinkered and indicative of market fundamentalism, in that the only solution to an ecological problem is to create a new market.
This does not mean climate change is not occurring...

Sensible comments. And even if climate change wasn't occurring it still doesn't change the dubious future for oil and the total lack of a replacement. Neither would it change the fact that a lot of other resources are at or past their peak. Pop over to the USGS website for what you would like to think is unbiased information on the larger picture.
Climate change is just a diversion from the real show in town, something that can be used to keep the weak minded amused.

Thats basically correct. The greenhouse effect raises the amount of energy captured by the atmosphere (as greenhouse gasses have the property of being transparant so not inhibiting light but reflecting heat). This increases the average temperature of the atmosphere, but by a small amount compared to the climate range. So far just about one degree has been recorded in the instrumental record.
Hotter air has a capacity to hold more water than cooler air, so one of the implications of this is that you will see bigger weather patterns forming in the atmosphere. Because the moisture is being drawn up from certain places on the surface you will also get bigger draughts in some places, as well as bigger floods in others.
The other problem is the lag in the temperature record. This means that the effects of the pollutants we emit today are not observed until some time in the future, so the average temperature is still going to increase, even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gasses even today.

Well, I bike to work every day.  
Actions speak louder than words.
I did read that it can take more 'potential energy' in terms of food to cycle than it does to'fuel' a small car.
Also, I have read that 1 less car in a family can be equivalent to $100,000 less in servicing costs on a house/mortgage.  So you can live in a better house....
Of course I bike for the planet.    Or is it because wife uses car1 & kids use car2?

Also a large dog has the same co2 footprint as a SUV....lots of choices ppl dont want to make will the dog seems quite appropriate....
Ive used public transport for 15 years now....crazy thing is Im considering getting a small motorbike to commute because the trains are getting expensive and too full to get on.....

Steven, There is no need for insults and hysteria, the facts speak for themselves
From the year 2000:
According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said…
David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow
Re the Wivenhoe Dam
Governments were assailed with scary talk that global warming meant that drought became the normal situation,
These huge dinosaur dams were never going to be full again, and in fact, were probably never even going to be part full.
What this prompted was for the current State Government to further increase restrictions to almost draconian levels.
Then, (to give the impression that they were doing something) they legislated wide ranging plans to ‘secure’ the water supply for that South East Corner.
Restrictions have not been eased. Costs to consumers have not been lowered.
People still use considerably less water than they once did. The consistent rain is now relied upon to water lawns and gardens, and now with people being charged an exorbitant amount of money (virtually a tax really) for the water they use, then it only stands to reason people will use less.
Wivenhoe has been at 100% for quite a while now, and with people using (a lot) less water, then that level will stay at a higher level for longer.
The 100% level for Wivenhoe means that the water supply for the South East corner is secure for at least 8 years ….. if it never rains again.
Enter the flood of 2011.


Good article here on the group think at the IPCC.

The facts you claim are simply not true....they are make believe put forward by those with a political axe to grind, or those wishing to avoid admitting to themsleves that the problems we see are caused by themselves....its a fob off simply......
That piece is 12 years old so the science has evolved a long way in 12 years....and the context....snow will become a rarer event in some places....would be could actually become very rare but very heavy on a generation of children could grow up and not see see snow as kids....quite plausable.
"Governments were assailed with scary talk that global warming meant that drought became the normal situation,"  Then the state Govn is simply incompetant.....or using the science selectively too justify their position or hide a cock up....Global warming does not equal permanent could easily signal its normal but the extremes ie floods become more likely and more warming models predict more extremes...not slightly higher steady states.

Steven your reponse is both stunning and ridiculous.
Which brings me to a paper still-in-progress authored by Arthur Rörsch, a former Dutch professor of molecular genetics (backup link here). He has examined the current draft document written by the science section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The final version of that report isn’t expected until 2014. Nevertheless, he sees few signs that the IPCC has learned anything.
Rörsch’s paper refers to “post-modern science” in its title. From his perspective, the people writing the latest IPCC report share a common, flawed mindset. In his words:

rules of logic are applied only within the context of a chosen cultural paradigm based on a given thought system.

Accordingly, he alleges that:

All fourteen chapters of the IPCC report start from the assumption that atmospheric CO2 is a dominant forcing agent for global temperature. [bold added]

Rörsch is further appalled by the IPCC’s habit of presenting conclusions on an opinion-based probability scale. At one end is exceptionally unlikely. At the other isvirtually certain. In his words:

This procedure results in the application of subjective judgment by groups of scientists, who in effect reach their verdict by a “show of hands”. Such a process is the domain of social and political science, and should play no part in a true, traditional scientific report…

In Rörsch’s view, the scientific literature the IPCC plans to cite in its next report

is selective towards papers that support the [dangerous human-caused global warming] hypothesis, and even the papers that are included are then selectively analyzed towards the same end.

Here’s another zinger:

establishing that [dangerous human-caused global warming] exists requires a scientific assessment study that weighs the evidence both for and against the hypothesis. That assessment should not…merely proclaim the merit of the…hypothesis. [my bold]

The IPCC draft report only makes sense, says Rörsch, if one concludes that its authors are operating within an “unchallengeable thought system.”
In other words, the next IPCC opus seems unlikely to tell us anything we haven’t heard already.
A hand-picked group of people will once again produce a document that reveals a great deal about their own worldview. Once again, they will ignore some of the most obvious and difficult questions.

The difference between Steven and a lot of others here is that he can think and form a well reasoned hypothesis, whereas others only seem to be able to cut and paste. That says to me that you can't think for yourself.

Scarfie, his thinking fredquently amounts to a deep seated hatred. There are sensitive, albeit expensive, professionals with soft couches who may be able to deal with him, but it would be a phenomenal challenge. Your childish put down of posters who provide links to evidence is noted. 

I isn't the links that are the problem, it is the complete reliance on them.

Double standard there - look at your mate Steven's next post, right below this one!

Hatred of what?  You put forward lies and rubbish to defend your opinion and I stand up and point to articles that show the opposite and disect your links and show then to be at best dubious... So it isnt evidence you show, its at best faulty opinion you point to.

"molecular genetics" not a climate scientist then, or engineering...or shudder even economics...
The paper such as it is is not peer reviewed so is no better than tony watt's editorial it could and probably is junk science. ight put the guy in context...he's 20 or 30 years behind....
Also maybe consider the quality of the denier's scientists, which is franlky, rubbish.

Funny how an article on Energy had descended to a tit for tat over global warming. Like I say above it is the small minded that have to resort back to this because they don't have an argument about energy.

Don't sweat the small stuff scarfie, I hear David B has the energy problem solved!

I'm not sure why certain skeptics feel the need to push their point of view across; it's a pretty tenious link with the subject. I sometimes feel the need to point out deliberate falsehoods and mis-information but I have got sick of doing so. Given that some don't appear to be resident in NZ and have links with the oil industry, there is probably a PR agenda here.

The problem is if you let it slide 3rd parties reading this site or any other almost start to think its the I reply for balance and let them see there is another side....pass them the info and they can make their own mind up....

"Funny how an article on Energy had descended to a tit for tat over global warming."
That's not quite right. The issue of AGW is signalled in the above article. Apart from the obvious link between energy use and hydrocarbon depletion there is the huge issue of Kyoto obligations, which in the worst case scenario has an annnual $5 billion liability for NZ. A ton of factual evidence showing the science on this issue is far from settled has been posted by numerous posters, me being one of them. Canada has recently pulled out and good on them. Steven and his ilk have done all they can to shut down this information making unsubstantiated claims of lying and political bias - the latter says it all doesn't it? This Kyoto liability is the most serious issue facing the country, more serious than any other, including how many rabbits Steven can liberate in his backyard. 
The country needs to wake up, but I'm not hopeful.

ONG - no, that's not the most serious thing facing this country, not by a long chalk. We don't value Natural Capital properly, even the carbon charges don't do that.
What are you paid per post, and how did you end up needing to do it?

Presumably this reply is addressed to me? In that case thank you for your concerned interest in my financial affairs - something of a change considering you posted recently an astonishing diatribe where you advocated the abandonment of the monetary system altogether. Pol Pot did this. Do remind us all how that worked out.
On Friday I was the central figure in a company merger. I expect a very significant US dollar initial return and for that to grow signifcantly over the longer term. To give details would be to give insider information, and I won't be doing that of course.
A question for you as you post so frequently and seem to have a lot of time on your hands.
Are you a sickness beneficiary?

Good luck with the continued dream, and the sense of self-importance.
No, when you're as self-sufficient as we are, you don't need to rely on benefits.  My better half only has to work 3 days a week, and I write my column. That gives us enough to have a serious adventure once a year, and to live very comfortably. Our only vulnerabilities are to war/social unrest, and to major health issues.
My upcoming best-seller "How to do your own Triple Bypass in the comfort of your own Home" will address the latter.

Hopefully the truth will win....
There is more than enough evidence of lying, deciet and graft.....if you think AGW is not true, where are the legal cases? ie several weather men threatened legal action.....nothing has come of it for years.....
Why didnt Tont Watts attend the Congressional hearings? perfect show trial for AGW for Republicans in charge it was a slamdunk one came, why? because of teh legal implications and scrutiny.....No more hearings? why?  because you need reasonable evidence and without that you lose and big time....
Lets have the deniers stand up and sue the Uni's and scientists...wont happen of course because then they have to justify what they say in a court of law and wont be able to.....and the counter sueing for liable and slander will bankrupt the deniers......
You and I, this isnt a shutdown of info, you have the equal right to me, in posting....all I do is reply to your posts with the alternative....and question the strength of your information, which is always lacking...
In the immediate future kyoto is a non-event, Peak Oil is the killer to business and lifestyle....AGW is the final nail in the coffin....but of course taht wont happen for 50 ~ 100 years, so you dont care do you...

Our Kyoto committment is relevant to this discussion. if we assume that NZ emits 350 million tonnes in Committment Period 1 (CP1) our liability is (350-275) x carbon price in 2012. If the world stays in recession that is probably <$10/t so our liability would be about $700 million paid for primarily by the taxpayers of NZ.  Later CPs are likely going to be much more expensive for NZ but the global political will to commit to CP2 is probably not there...

Thanks, Simon, for the context, it is appreciated. NZ taxpayers then have the right for due diligence on the "science" This has not been forthcoming. The IPCC, and in particular a number of its key players, have completely lost credibility.

Remember there are more climate emails to come, as the mystery leaker seems to be playing the long game by leaking 5000 at a time.
Be interesting to see what the next group serves up.

Don't you think that if there was a "smoking gun" that would have been the first thing released? All the leaked emails so far have shown scientists crititising each other's work, relunctant to comply to time-consuming information requests, and worried about the political implications of their work. Big deal, that's how science works.

They can promise all they want, the carbon liability will stack up with all other debts denominated in increasingly worthless paper money that won't be paid. As I say it is all a diversion to get the weak minded to squabble over.

You clearly have no idea how science works if you think scientists should not share data and methodology (especially if the topic is as crucial as the GW's claim) and get involved in wondering about political implications.
Lets go back and look at the original research into HIV, did you find scientists reluctant about sharing data then?

Just looking at what has come out and the opportunities to destroy the AGW brigade in a one off "nuclear" shot if they had anything decent, you cannot be serious is thinking there is more to come...
Bring it on.....

We all know that they would be swept under the carpet and its difficult to digest 5000 emails in one shot, let alone ~200,000.
Better to leak them over time and meanwhile let the usual suspects discredit themselves further.

I think Scarfie, that energy use is connected to the politics of Global warming. My original point was that Europe's energy reserves and distribution are struggling to cope with the cold weather. It is foolish to plan ahead on the basis of the computer modeling of one eyed climate scientists. They said it would be much its cold and over 500 people have died.

Perhaps they should have got Ken Ring in?
Who plans the energy reserves? I would be surprised if they were relying on global warming in the forecasts. There are questions the beg answered around these energy reserves that might lead to interesting conclusions.
I look back to the Berlin airlift and wonder about the current ability to respond to an energy crisis. My guess is because energy has become harder to get. However I know there are political issues, such as Germany closing down on nuclear, which needs quantified. Has the decreased output of Libian oil really come home to bite?

Yes I think so...
Libyan oil is 1.8mbpd, or 2.5% of the market....the price has gone from around $90 to $118 as price is how the rationing is done....or $30 extra a barrel...roughly a 10 fold difference in % v $ in impact....
That 2.5% is the same as the % need to supprt 4% annual growth in global its not surprising that there has been no noticable growth...the price jump in the market from libya not being there, ate it...
Germany not going nuclear is um...potentially disasterious....they simply dont have anywhere else to go....

No they said on average it would be much warmer....They also said it would be more volitile and record colds were they have been ignored...and you continue to sit in ignorance and regurtitate it...

pass the fly spray please - we seem to have a warmist,doomist, Al Gorist fantasy filmist  infestation here again

Hello Gonzo, little spinning muppet. We missed your deep and meaningful, reference-filled, on-topic contributions.

Perhaps the EECA should be driving energy policy. Conservation  offers large savings to businesses and private consumers with no cost apart from a little thought and effort. Look at the case studies on their website. But under our deregulated free market philosophy the government makes everything entirely voluntary and wants to throw energy production out to the private sector. How much incentive will privatised generators have to promote efficiency and conservation except during shortages? How can multiple generators and suppliers each with their own HO, highly paid executives and administration be cost efficient?
Why is NZ one of the few countries without gas guzzler taxes at the point of sale or registration of vehicles? Even the US has them.
Why not each year eliminate from sale the bottom 20% of appliances by efficiency? You'll still have 50 fridges, washing machines, dishwashers or TVs to choose from.
Why can't households be charged for their electrcity consumption at cost up to a certain level (equivalent to a family of five with an insulated 150m2 home with efficient lighting and heating) but vastly higher marginal rates above this ie you choose to live in a 300m2 house with big windows and 200 lights and a pool you pay for it. Likewise water.
Why shouldn't all homes be energy rated before their next sale and all rentals insulated and rated?
Why not close the Tiwai Point Smelter if the net result of its operation is a huge subsidy for each employee. Sorry Southland 15% of the countries electricity is in the national interest. No more dams or thermal needed for decades if combined with conservation.
None of these measures cost anything and offer incentives to be efficient. When petrol prices went through the roof a few years ago people did change their vehicle purchasing and driving behaviour with no detrimental effect on their lifestyle. Same thing could happen with elecricity, water and gas.

Well if the private generators start to gouge then businesses/households will have an increasing incentive to conserve.....
Gas guzzler taxes, not may do fact some have a perverse incentive, ie the USA where road tax is on petrol sales, so the States wants gas guzzlers as that pays for the roads. If everyong had a prius or EV they would go broke...
I do think road tax can be tiered in NZ....EVs, and <1000cc free, 50% for <1600cc, x1 for <2000cc, 2 x for >2000cc, x 4 for > 3000cc will come I think....
Rentals, well what happens to rent? if a Landlord has to install insulation then the rent has to go up, or the landlord will sell it if that cant be recovered...
Also energy rating matters less and less and the ambiant climate gets the more north you go the less insulation matters...
Some of your ideas just become a nightmare to manage....I can agree with the ideal, just it would I think be swamped with reality...
These changes will come, however sometimes the outcome is perverse....for instance at times my train is now so full I sometimes risk not being able to get on, I might end up having to abandon public transport as those futher out have fille its looking cheaper and quicker (15mins v 50mins) to have a small 200cc motorbike...v public transport even paying to buy the MB over 3 years (and it will last at least 10)......that is silly IMHO.

It's all evolutionary. There needs to be carrots and sticks from the government because citizens/consumers are too busy/lazy to sit down and think about bigger picture stuff themselves even if it would be in their own financial self interest. We know the rational market hypothesis is rubbish. The best outcome for a nation is not the sum of all its self interested individuals especially if those individuals are not acting "rationally". Look at how many of us can't be bothered changing banks. We shouldn't have to wait for electricity to double before deciding to be more efficient. Too late.
Having lived in uninsulated homes in Auckland during winter I think insulation matters wherever you live. How far north are you talking about? Most councils require insulation in new homes and renovations, why not rentals? With the current subsidies there's no excuse. Its not just energy efficiency its about being fit for purpose.
If every new car purchaser traded down one engine size think of the savings. Buying a new BMW, get a 320d instead of a 330, a 6 cylinder Commodore instead of a V8. If you really want a HSV or M5 expect to pay a lot more.
I think electricty in particular should be generated and sold by one SOE. Competition has not resulted either in efficiency or stable prices, just bloated salaries and waste.  Every household getting the same number of kw at cost with a high marginal price above that would be easy to do and provide great incentives to conserve as well as being kind to low income households.

Wind is unreliable on a day on day basis.  But extremely reliable on a year on year basis.  Hydro is much more variable on a year to year basis. We do have storage for hydro, that is a better than most overseas situations.
So you do the sums and construct the mix.  It's about 20-30% wind.
Nuclear is very reliable. But the disadvantage is that it provideds a large non variable base load.  Large base load is not what we need at all.  And to provide that system what we don't need, its expensive.  Maybe it would stack up with a population of 50 million or so.  But thats not us.

It won't be environmentalists who'll put the brakes on nuclear energy in NZ, but rather, bean counters. As it stands, nuclear reactors are for the most part are only viable for Alpha-cities like London or NYC or LA or Tokyo. I suspect even Sydney would struggle to stump up the cash for one - its sole reactor is a much smaller one for research purposes only.

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
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