Submission on Measures for Transition to an Expanded and Highly Renewable Electricity System

We recommend to commence work on a vision of how New Zealand will look without fossil fuels and then to develop a pathway how to get there. This consultation document assumes a great manufacturing effort over the next decades of power lines, power pylons, windmills, PV panels, electric cars, rail tracks and other infrastructure. This will all be done predominantly by using fossil fuels with associated emissions. It will also be done on the backdrop of diminishing resources of raw materials including crude oil. In terms of energy we are also dealing with a reduction of the ratio of Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROI) while aiming to produce new infrastructure and trying to maintain or replace existing infrastructure all built with fossil fuels at a high EROI ratio.

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Submission to Draft Advice of Climate Change Commission on 2nd Emissions Reduction Plan

The advice document subscribes to the economic growth paradigm in assuring the economy “would continue to grow under the recommended emissions budgets”. On the other hand, it has been established, that economic growth brings with it emissions’ growth, because an absolute decoupling of the two has not been achieved yet. It is therefore timely to start a discussion of “degrowth” to make a real and required impact on gross emissions. Degrowth of the economy means a planned reduction of the material throughput through the economy and the associated emissions, while focusing on a just transition and wellbeing indicators. Worldwide there is an increasing amount of literature generated and some of our members are contributing to the domestic discussion.

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Restoration of Electric Power Supply to Faseu Village

The Registered Trust “Friends of Faseu” seeks funding support for a rural electricity project in Papua New Guinea. The project involves the repair and restoration of a small hydro electric plant and the associated electrical distribution system supplying community facilities at Faseu, a village in the mountains of the Huon Peninsula in the Morobe Province. The system commenced operation in December 2005, but suffered major damage due to flood and landslip approximately two years later.

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Letter to Engineering Insight Magazine

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. The negative effects particularly affect developing countries and are only beginning to be felt. They will increase greatly over coming decades unless we all accept our responsibilities and substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

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Pumped Storage Planning – 1970s VS 2020

Pumped Storage Planning, 1970s vs 2020 By Dr Alastair Barnett Webinar 21 Oct 2020 Until the recent flurry of publicity about the Lake Onslow proposal, pumped hydropower storage had not been seriously considered in New Zealand since the 1970s. At that time the Tekapo canal was under construction to link the two main storage reservoirs (Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki) in the Upper Waitaki power development, and an obvious option was to design the canal to take pumped flow from Pukaki to Tekapo as well as gravity flow from Tekapo to Pukaki. The canal design was duly analysed, constructed and tested to have the required reverse flow capacity. Instead, the newly developed Maui gas field was utilised and the Huntly thermal power station continues in use, and the importation of coal means that our thermal emissions have actually increased. The disastrous outcomes of poor power planning have now been recognised, but the reaction seems to be one of panic, adopting the first scheme to come to mind while ignoring the alternatives, especially the final 10% of the Tekapo-Pukaki scheme.

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What Is Wrong With The New Zealand Electricity Market?

Dr Geoff Bertram spoke to an online meeting of Engineers for Social Responsibility on 19 August 2020. He reviewed the electricity reforms since 1986 and their effects, particularly on pricing, excess profits and anti-competitive practices. He noted the effects particularly on increasing poverty and inequality, specially child poverty and energy poverty. He suggested steps that could be taken to deal with these problems, but noted that invested interests would make implementation of any of them, very difficult to achieve.

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Submission In Response To: Accelerating Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency

Accelerating the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency are both very important steps that need to be taken, and we agree with many of the suggestions in the Discussion Document. However, given the extreme climate emergency we are currently now facing, with the strong possibility of catastrophic outcomes if it is not adequately addressed, these steps on their own are not nearly enough for New Zealand to contribute sufficiently towards holding global heating below the current internationally agreed limit of 1.5°C.

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