Faulty gas infrastructure highlights value of solar and batteries
The Taranaki offshore gas field, Pohokura, has reduced output due to a faulty valve which was discovered at the offshore gas platform.
The outage has resulted in a gas shortage and caused an electricity price spike which will run until late November, when Operator Shell says that production should resume.
New Zealand households and businesses are experiencing high power prices for the period of the outage, with prices climbing to a 13-month high.
The gas outage has coincided with lower than normal hydro lake levels to further contribute to the constricted electricity supply.
This latest gas shutdown gas shows that New Zealand needs to urgently diversify our electricity generation and include more distributed solar and battery storage to improve resilience and keep prices low.
Gas can be incredibly unreliable, as this, and past incidents have shown, and New Zealanders end up paying the price in higher electricity bills.
Regulation to open access to distribution networks and allow new technologies and new business models to compete is paramount to helping lower grid operating costs, improving resilience, and enabling lower priced electricity to all New Zealanders.
These technologies have the ability to help drive our sustainable energy future - A 100% renewable, resilient, low-cost grid powering smarter homes and businesses, and our electric vehicle fleet. We just need the political will to make it happen.