Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Some good news on the climate front: Genesis Energy has cancelled its planned (and consented) Rodney gas-fired power station:

Genesis Energy has confirmed the gas-fired power station planned in Rodney, north of Auckland, has been scuttled.

The company's general manager of strategy and corporate affairs, Dean Schmidt, blamed flat demand for electricity, which has seen big power projects put on hold by several companies.

Its unclear whether they've returned the consent, but the land they were planning to use is now for sale, making it a moot point. And so one of the biggest potential future sources of greenhouse gas emissions, which would have increased emissions by 2% and continued to spew carbon into the atmosphere for 30 years, isn't happening anymore. I'd call that a win.

But its not enough. If we are to decarbonise our electricity sector and achieve our 90% by 2025 renewables target, we need not just to ensure that all new plants are renewable, but also to actively shut down around half our current thermal generating capacity. The gradual closure of Huntly's remaining two steam turbines will get us partway there, and Taranaki Combined Cycle (the original monster emitter) will reach the end of its design life in 2023. Provided we ensure that these plants are replaced with geothermal and wind rather than more gas, we might just make it.