Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

IToldYaSo -- the energy shortage

10 May 2024

Yesterday I received an email from a regular reader that started off with the following:

"Try not to feel too smug"

He then went on to advise that Transpower were warning of possible power shortages between 7am and 9am this morning.

A little while later I got a txt from my power company advising the same thing.

Immediately I jumped online and checked to see if New Zealand had been reclassified as a third world country or something.

No, apparently not - and that surprised me.

Regular readers will know that I've been warning of the looming power shortage for quite some time now.

Every year it seems to get worse and every year little seems to be done to address the issue.

At least this time the media seems to be waking up to the threat, RNZ publishing a story titled Pressure on power supply 'timely wake up call' for industry and the NZH carrying a story in which it quotes ACT leader David Seymore agreeing with me that this is "Third World stuff”.

I mean, we're still only in Autumn and the threat of power cuts due to lack of capacity are looming. What's going to happen if we end up with a protracted period of unusually cold weather this winter?

The problem is that things are not going to get better by themselves and our increased reliance on solar and wind doesn't help mitigate any "worst case" scenarios where the weather doesn't cooperate.

Then, as I've said so many times before, start factoring in the effect of a rapidly rising percentage of EVs in the vehicle fleet and it's easy to see that the demand versus supply situation will only deteriorate over the coming years.

That is, unless we box smart and perhaps decide to take a world-leading stance.

As I've previously written, EVs have the potential to be the saviour of our energy infrastructure.

While other places such as parts of Australia and the USA are spending huge sums on installing batteries on their grids so as to cope with peak-loads, we have the opportunity to sponsor a shift to using EVs as our nation-wide distributed battery storage for handling peak loads on the grid.

Many EVs these days have the ability to back-feed into the grid so that they can actually supply the power needed to run your house at times of peak demand. I'm wondering if it might not be a wise investment on the part of government to significantly subsidise the purchase of such vehicles on the proviso that they're charged and connected to the grid at times of maximum demand. This becomes the equivalent of buying a huge battery like the Victorian Big Battery to help balance the load on the grid.

As well as providing some resilience to our power infrastructure, these EVs would also be reducing our CO2 emissions and cutting the cost of fuel-imports which bites into our trade balance with the rest of the world.

Surely this has to be a win-win for everyone?

Sadly, given that it's probably a pretty smart idea, I suspect it will be completely ignored by "the powers that be" in favour of simply sitting back and waiting for the inevitable to happen -- which appears to have been the strategy for the past decade or two.


Carpe Diem folks!

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

Starlink will give you skin cancer?
Hands up anyone who remembers when CFCs flowed like water...

How exposed are we to H5N1?
New Zealand is a nation of dairy farms...

The future is...
Music has always been something I've enjoyed...

The week that was
Today I revisit a few of the topics I covered in last week's columns and bring you up to date...

The USA is no longer the preeminent superpower?
For many many decades, the USA has been seen as the world's preeminent superpower...

Aussies fined for generating power from solar?
It sounds to far-fetched to be true but our cobbers across the ditch are about to be fined if they're using solar to generate electricity...

AI is now on steroids
Yes, it's AI (artificial intelligence) time again...

I bought an espresso machine
I like a coffee... but I'm not dependent on it nor addicted...

Write open source code, go to jail
Believe it or not, writing some computer code and releasing it under an open-source license could result in you spending up to 25 years in jail...

Adobe: All your content belongs to us
Adobe is a software publisher with a number of top-tier titles in its catalog...