I am writing this article in response to Muriel's question "why is electricity so expensive"? There is a simple answer to this question. "The electricity 'market'". But explaining how and why it drives up prices and will continue to do so, is rather more complicated. I will try to do just that.
Last Monday night I had the disturbing experience of being present at a public meeting called by Nick Smith (Minister for Climate Change Issues) to discuss New Zealand's 2020 emissions target.It was one of 9 public meetings and 5 invited meetings arranged by the Ministry for the Environment to get public feedback on what New Zealand should do towards a 2020 emissions target.
The drive for renewable energy in the form of windpower, marine power and the like, is driven by a belief that man-made greenhouse gases will cause dangerous global warming and that large-scale adoption of these technologies will “fight climate change”. To this end, thousands of MW of heavily subsidized wind power capacity are being added worldwide each year.
I have been involved in the electricity and energy business in New Zealand for the last fifty years. From 1992 to 2003, I produced the only independent review of electricity generation and demand in New Zealand.
The recently released draft New Zealand Energy Strategy is dominated by the government’s conviction that climate change (more properly described as man-made global warming) is happening and that renewable energy will save New Zealand from climate driven disaster.