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30/4/2018 — Alternative Energy
Meridian joins commission’s push

Meridian Energy Ltd (NZX: MEL; ASX: MEZ) said it supports the Productivity Commission’s draft report that shows sectors should work together to transition to a low emissions economy.

For the renewable energy sector, with a Government already banning new offshore exploration permits and casting a political shadow over coal developments, Meridian’s view would undoubtedly reflect that of fellow listed NZ electricity generators, pushing the barrow for renewable energy only.

While still in draft Meridian’s chief executive Neal Barclay said the Productivity Commission had produced a comprehensive report, which aligns with Meridian’s own view.

This, he said, was that an efficient, well-functioning electricity system will play a central part in NZ’s transition to a zero carbon future.

“When combating climate change it is imperative that we collaborate across sectors to create the momentum for change,” says Neal.

“This means we keep pushing to grow renewables to as close to 100% as we can and making a shift to reducing carbon in areas that will have the greatest impact on our environment.”

Perhaps, like the obsessed Prime Minister on climate and global warming, Meridian should observe what happens in major weather events – a base load is required when wind farms shut or are restricted, just as when the rain stops and hydro storage becomes low.

There is a need for a constant base load power and weather does not affect geothermal power, just as the base load constant in Australia is coal, though it is being affected by subsidised renewables that are affected by weather and have produced high power prices.

It should not be forgotten that in times of low hydro or wind storms, the back-up still is the gas and coal-fired Huntly power station.

Australia lacks the competitive private energy market of New Zealand and its coordinated regulation and the States of South Australia and Victoria have stressed power systems when peak power is demanded, all through forsaking coal power.

Neal commented: “New Zealand already has a low emissions electricity system that’s the envy of the world, with over 85% of electricity already being produced by wind, water and geothermal.

“It’s what we do next and how we use of our renewable electricity that will make the difference,” says Neal.

He said among initiatives, Meridian was working to increase public knowledge and uptake of electric vehicles and the company was committed to playing its part in conversion of large thermal-powered industrial plant to clean energy.

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