We are at a point in time were we in the words of a famous Scottish engineer "need more power".
NZ is lucky that 60% of our electricity is generated from hydro-electric methods.
Does anyone disagree that in coming years we will need more capacity?
If not then where is it going to come from? What are our options?
Today we have:
3) Other alternative,
4) Coal / gas / other fossil fuel,
As a lean green country we lean towards the alternative forms of electricity generation, Solar and Wind. Although I do not have the figures to hand, I am fairly sure that the footprint required to provide our future energy needs from Solar and Wind is huge, which makes relying on these two as a primary source of generation unlikely. Mainly because the land that would be required is already being used for grazing, crops, and living.
Other alternative generation? Tidal, ground geo thermal etc... I don't know enough to comment, but if they were realistic options we would probably see more commercial activities going on right now.
Coal / Gas / Other fossil fuel? Unfortunately this is what we tend to use when we need a bit of extra capacity. Need more power fire up Marsden B, a mothballed oil fired plant. It's one of the easiest methods of power generation, but also the most detrimental to the environment. Who would live next to a coal plant?
Nuclear? What has New Zealand got against electricity generated from Nuclear power? We're against nuclear warheads of course, but should that preclude us from using nuclear power to generate electricity? Nuclear power is cleaner than coal, the plant can be made to be fail safe, and the wast product can be used in other types of reactors. But the same question stands who would live next to a Nuclear reactor?
Which leaves Hydro - Electric generation. NZ is perfect for Hydro, it's clean, pollution free energy. I would live next to one.
But it would seem that NZ is paralysed by our options, I get the feeling that Kiwi's are waiting for something to happen, no one wants to make the hard choices. The danger is that we will be forced into a decision that is less than ideal.
Not in my backyard is our watchword.
It will get us into trouble, how can we tackle climate change if we can't even decide how to supply our electricity needs for the future.