So another market failure was why the National Grid almost collapsed?


Power outages: Genesis is being ‘scapegoated’ by Energy Minister Megan Woods, CEO says

Genesis boss Marc England has rejected claims New Zealand had enough power to handle the unprecedented demand last night, but that commercial decisions had caused widespread outages.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said today she was seeking assurances from the country’s power companies that they were not trying to keep prices high by generating low amounts of electricity.

She said the power outages experienced by many New Zealanders last night were a result of “commercial decisions” made by the electricity companies.

“This wasn’t a physical constraint of generation,” she said.

So what the bloody hell happened ?

The Electricity Gods dropped the ball with one demanding cut backs in the Grid that wasn’t required while the other God wouldn’t provide capacity because of weeds in a hydro plant.

Watching Transpower & Genesis squabble was Megan Woods who was at pains to assure everyone it wasn’t her fault.

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The simple truth is that the market once again failed NZ in another example of how poorly regulated markets continually fail NZ consumers.

Transpower, Genesis and the Government are all to blame because one of the basic obligations of the State is providing NZ with power and allowing them all to blame each other means no one is held accountable.

With short sharp freezing extreme conditions more likely in our climate crisis future, our infrastructure needs to be far more reliable than this fiasco.

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  1. Agree with Mike the Lefty–time for power generation and supply to be returned to full public ownership and control. Any compensation to be dependent on Genesis and the rest of the bludgers going quietly.

    Get it right people. NZ workers and tax payers built the country’s power grid and hydro decades ago and then an artificial market was imposed on it–which has seen prices climb and the phenomenon of “energy poverty” where people cannot afford to heat or power their homes and flats.

  2. Does anyone else read ‘North and South’ magazine now or does everyone else use Social Media?
    Last issue-‘The Real Reason why New Zealand is so expensive.’Pages 35-37 Power Companies.
    Haast Energy Trading in 2019 – heavy rain = lakes full = hydro power ”one of the country’s cheapest sources of energy’
    ”Meridian was deliberately spilling water at their hydro dams restricting the supply of energy to the North Island.’
    I suggest people read this article in full which will tell them that power companies run a rort in that they keep electricity in short supply so they can charge more for it. We could manage without oil and coal fired power. The electricity providers keep it that way to make more bucks.
    Along with fish dumping and artificially high property prices this is capitalism at its finest.

  3. Remember under neoliberalism the executives work for shareholders profits, not society.

    Also a good tool to embarrass the government with our power providers addiction to coal fired power stations while the rest of the world is on solar, and then have energy outages and so forth right when they announce the ute tax.

    Time to do a Telecom – remove the electricity companies monopoly position.

    There is not even any real court to hold our electricity providers to account like the commerce commission!

    Look how much Enron pulled over their governments eyes… auditors etc but a widespread fraud.

  4. “Who needs power generation plants? In our home electricity comes from the socket in the wall!”

    (German joke from the eighties, translated for the convenience of those blessed with ignorance of that language)

  5. But Max Braford said deregulation and privatization would ensure cheaper power and no blackouts…..

      • Ahhh Bert, always a ‘look, a squirrel’ when Labour and its ministers in the spoilight, bring up Key and National lol
        You are aware Labour have been in power for almost 4 years, can we all expect ‘9 years of neglect’ quote from you heehee
        4 years and child poverdy NOT decreasing, homelessness increased and motel/hotel housing of homeless costing a million a day! (Was a million a year under Key)
        C’mon Bert where’s that squirrel with those stats???

        • There’s no denying it. Rogernomics sold us a white elephant. And the general consensus here and in wider society is that we are all fed up with it. This latest fiasco being the latest in a huge long line of lunacy and denying the best interests of the public. .

          Time to re nationalize our prior assets.

        • Not a lot of critical thinking going on there Always Wrong. Don’t worry about the squirrel, think “living in cars”, compared to “living in motels”. The only difference is it didn’t cost millions to house people in cars. There, 5th form math, not hard. Now off to sleep it’s past your bedtime.

        • Duncan Garner…on Nationals 9 years

          “We have families living in cars. I saw one woman and her two kids the other night at the top of my street. It’s not how we do things in New Zealand. Except now it is.

          We have a Government that is too hands off. Let the market sort it. But markets fail. Markets don’t build emergency, social, state and affordable houses.

          Governments, in partnership, lead and build. National utterly failed this group of struggling and increasingly bewildered and powerless New Zealanders.

          The Government now buys entire motels to house the homeless and English says that’s a good thing, it’s unprecedented. Sure is. It’s National’s emblem of failure. The gap between the haves and have-nots appears starker than ever.

          National also packed the immigrants in to the rafters in record numbers. Wages as a result have been suppressed.

          They also forgot to plan where everyone will live. More than 140 people arrive in Auckland every day, sadly housing is provided for just 80 of them.

          The poorest Kiwis have been squeezed to the sidelines. Auckland needs 14,000 homes built a year to meet demand.

          After nine years of National the past year has seen just 7000 homes finished. Our infrastructure is creaking. The average price of a house in Auckland is more than $1m.”

          I’m prepared to allow Labour time to fix the previous mess, how long are you prepared too On Black?

        • Bull shit. Labour was in coalition for most of that time if you can remember or perhaps prefer not to.
          The stats do not reveal the reasons for the lag in progress as the private sector and building material profiteering is not shown in the stats.
          Now we have a timber crisis emerging as logs go to china.
          Who sold off the cutting rights of our largest forest to offshore players.
          Log cutting and export needs to be regulated to protect the home market.

  6. No doubt we can expect some more light touch regulation that does nothing to fix the problem or the high price of electricity. The last statement I heard from the minister was that the request to dump 2% of the load only needed to be 1%. 1% doesnt seem to be a whole lot of safety margin. Would be interesting to see if back in ECNZ days they would have had Huntly running on idle just in case. Of course that is not possible now as the cost comes off the botton line.

    • Pricing of electricity needs to be progressive. The more you use the higher the rate with the extra going to the GOVT to subsidise electricity poverty for needy families.not the quasi energy corporate pirates.

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