Thursday, August 06, 2015

The end of coal in NZ

Huntly is closing down its coal-fired generators permanently:

Genesis Energy announced its last two coal-burning electricity generators at Huntly Power Station will be permanently withdrawn from the market by December 2018, signalling the end of large scale coal-fired generation in New Zealand.

The decision is being hailed as another step towards having 90 per cent of New Zealand's electricity supply generated by renewables by 2025.

Chief executive Albert Brantley said the company has been on track to retire the four coal/gas fired Rankine units since 2009.

What's better is that its been driven out by "lower cost renewable generation, principally wind and geothermal". In other words, there's just no space in the market for coal any longer. Which means we're unlikely to see any new coal-fired stations constructed.

This is backed up by MBIE's Electricity Demand and Generation scenarios, released in May. Their cost of generation assumptions show that coal has been pushed completely out of the market, and that they do not expect any new coal-fired generation to be built, ever (and they're probably still over-estimating the cost of wind). Coal simply has new future in New Zealand any more.