It’s cute of Megan Woods to try blaming Genesis for the power outage on Monday night because they didn’t fire up the third coal boiler at Huntly fast enough.
It’s not Genesis’ fault.
To believe it’s their fault, you have to believe that they are responsible for the gale force winds blowing the weed into the intake at a hydro lake, and for the wind dropping off around the wind farms at the same time.
Clearly they cannot be responsible for that. And frankly, nor is Transpower, because they can’t have foreseen that that would happen.
This was a sequence of unfortunate events that happened at exactly the wrong time: the coldest night of the year.
But the problem is that it could, and did happen, because we are constantly running our electricity system too close to the edge.
It didn’t surprise me at all that the lights went out on Monday. We’ve been talking all winter on this show about how dangerously short of power we’ve been.
It has got so bad this winter that we’ve had heavy industry shutting down because we don’t have the electricity.
Methanex stopped work for three months to free up gas to help keep the lights on.
NZ Steel and Norske Skog paper mills reportedly cut back or altered production when power prices peaked.
Bosses at the Whakātane mill blamed the decision to sell the thing on the cost of electricity.
So all winter the Government has known we have a major problem.
But they’ve said nothing at all until Monday because that’s when it hit residential customers and threatened to hurt them in votes.
They haven’t come up with a single workable solution to this problem all winter.
Instead, they’ve announced a whole bunch of things that will make this worse: A gas ban so we can’t even rely on that as a backstop in future dry years. Then, encouraging us to buy electric vehicles so we only increase demand.
As I’ve said before, their policies will only make this situation worse next time we have a dry year.
So, when you hear the government shifting the blame to Genesis or Transpower or anyone else - ask them this: you’re in charge, what are you doing to fix?