Tuesday, November 07, 2006



Marsden B "unlikely to happen"?

Speaking of preventing the construction of more fossil-fuelled power stations, according to Energy Minister David Parker speaking on HeatwaveFM yesterday, Mighty River Power's coal-fired Marsden B power station is "unlikely to happen". Here's a transcript from the full interview [audio]:

"My belief is that's unlikely to happen. You have seen in the last six months announcements from both the National Party and us that we favour a cap and trade system for electricity sector emissions. Now, that's effectively saying that we think there should be full cost of carbon in the electricity system at least in the margin in respect of new generating capacity. And with that sort of additional cost faced by a new coal-fired power station it would be unlikely to stack up economically compared with renewables."

This is how cap and trade systems and carbon taes are supposed to work: by sending an economic signal that effectively prices dirty generation out of the market. Here's hoping that Mighty River gets the mesage...

5 comments:

But it would be worse for global climate change to export NZ coal to China, India etc. because then it wouldn't be counted against NZ emissions - right?

We want NZ coal to be to counted against NZ emissions so we get corresponding action to reduce emissions elsewhere or atleast an increase in carbon sinks to compensate - Right?

Mr Parker must ban NZ coal exports - otherwise his annoucement is worse than meaninless, that's right isn't it - or have I got this wrong?

Posted by Anonymous : 11/07/2006 09:05:00 PM

There could be quite the market for a Somwhere like Samoa to set up a plant that converts coal to some sort of non carbon based fuel and ships that to first world countries. Either that or move energy intensive things like aluminum exraction to third world countries.

Classy. 10% of the profits thanks.

Posted by Genius : 11/07/2006 09:35:00 PM

They already are - last time I was in Chile, somebody who looked an awful lot like Comalco wearing a dark coat and misdirecting corporat camoflage was looking at setting up big hydro for alumnium in the Chilean Andes near Coyhaique (Huge rainfall, lots of glacial valleys, excellent hydro potential.) Chile's not third world, but it's an awful lot more pleasant to do business in than NZ or Australia if you know who to bribe and when.

Me, I'm all for as many pebble bed reactors as can be built, as fast as they can be built. Mind you, I spent this morning playing with yellowcake uranium ore and other wierd uranium minerals. May have taken a few rems more than usual.

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 11/08/2006 05:26:00 PM

Cap'n'trade makes carbon-pollution rights tradeable property. And it hands over full rights to that property to all current polluters.

Which means a way to get rich is to start doing lots of carbon pollution to generate electricity before the cap-n-trade scheme comes in.

If you were promising a future carbon tax, then companies would be put off building things like Marsden B now. But promising a future cap-n-trade scheme has the opposite effect.

If David Parker doesn't understand that, then he doesn't understand the basics of energy policy. Which is worrying, to put it mildly.

Posted by Icehawk : 11/12/2006 09:41:00 PM

Icehawk: only if you grandfather (and grandfather with a baseline which is yet to be determined, rather than, say, 1990 or 2002). Personally, I favour auctioning. That way, he government gets the carbon rents, and it limits the ability of emittes to keep competition out of the market.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/12/2006 10:43:00 PM