Gerry Brownlee electricity reform lines companies yawn

So, we have a classic example of mono-ideology. If corporatisation, competition and partial privatisation don’t work, it can’t be that they don’t work. It must be that we need to do more. Duh. My dog thinks better than that…

Labour muddled their time, not having the gumption to effect changes. National don’t know how. Privatisation only adds a profit to the bill, and if the shareholders are overseas, that is a loss in New Zealand terms. Competition is of no use, either. Why? Because the market is dumb, and only reacts. It doesn’t plan, and certainly not in the ways and on the time-scale we need.

All that has happened so far, is that big users have paid relatively less, small (read – private) consumers have paid more.

The grid has to morph, now. Instead of being a one-way trip from southern generation toAuckland, it has to be an equaliser of micro-generation, which ultimately will be solar. Why? Because the sun is the source of all energy, and the oil, gas and coal we use, are just stored solar energy. Having used up the millions of years of storage in a couple of centuries, we will be down to direct solar, nothing surer. We can’t support the population we have now, of course, but that was the case ex this topic. Solar falls (on a sunny day on a perpendicular surface) at the rate of 1 kilowatt per square metre. Not bad, really, 10 square metes would do the average house, and that’s not much of the roof. We get by here (our house, google ODT murray grimwood Jennie Upton – thats the panel in the photo) on 1/4 of a square metre.

With micro-solar, you are looking for an equaliser of multiple mini-sources. The devil will be in the detail of voltages and distances, between clusters.

There will be pressure on the grid from now on, due to peak oil – any oil-driven activity which can possibly convert to electricity, will do so. How that is negated by the lessening in commercial demand – due to less commercial activity due to less oil – is inclear. Also unclear, is how much of the infrastructure we will be able to keep/save.

I’ve already mentioned triage in previous blogs on this, and can’t see another way. One thing is very sure, power prices will never go down, will possibly increase by quite a staggering amount, and the problem at that point may be the dysfunction of the fiscal system, so we may never know what the actual relative price was. I

feel quite smug – we’ve been off-grid for five years now, and it’s a doddle. I’ve forgotten what a bill looks like….

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