Fossil Fuels in New Zealand
Around 15% of the electricity supply for New Zealand use responsible fuel for generation, but 100% of Transport uses fossil fuel. New Zealand Imports virtually all it’s oil for refining and to transport fuel, and this has a major impact on New Zealand’s economy.
Ironically New Zealand could theoretically fuel all it’s transport needs from electricity with very little expansion required to the electricity supply, as there is a vast amount of surplus capacity in the hydroelectric system. This excess capacity will further increase by about 30% when the aluminium smelter is decommissioned, which is inevitable given that it is nearly obsolete in terms of Technology.
The 15% of New Zealand electricity supply that is generated using fossil fuels mostly use as coal but with some natural gas. In New Zealand Coal is very obviously a sunset industry, and the coal industry has lost virtually all it’s value over the last few years. The underground gas supplies are nearly exhausted as well. However the recent rapid development of solar and wind power overseas means that this form of renewable energy is very economic for New Zealand, and indeed wind farms are a common sight around the country. Wind and Solar are very compelling economically if coupled up with utility scale battery storage, and it is totally plausible net Wind and Solar Plus battery good replace the existing coal and gas fired power stations within the next decade or so. New Scientist magazine says that fossil fuel power plants are more deadly than nuclear power plants!
The electric vehicle market will grow explosively around the world within the next decade, and New Zealand we’ll see this explosive growth like any other country. The convenient aspect of the electric vehicle is that 95% of the recharging will take place overnight, which is when there is plenty of surplus power capacity in the network. Indeed, almost all of the recharging and necessary to satisfy all of New Zealand’s transport as a service needs can take place using the existing renewable how supplies, which means that New Zealand will be able to reduce it’s oil Imports at a dramatic scale over the next decade or so. We will still need oil will certain products such as Plastics and roading material, that oil required for internal combustion will reduce to a tine % of its current level.
This massive reduction in oil Imports will take place at the same time as there’s a massive reduction in the cost of Transport for the general population, and this will have a massively Positive Impact on the economic well-being of New Zealanders.
The one problem debt New Zealand does have is the very high power prices which are due to the Legacy cost of a power grid there has to serve a relatively small population then a long skinny country. Power companies are regulated, but right across the board they have been gathering Supernormal profits four decades. However the introduction of solar power for households and localised battery storage will mean they are out the power companies will not need to expand for up size the network, and this for me and that their costs will be a lot less and these will be able to be fed back to the consumers as lower power prices.