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Colin Whyte gave his Viewpoint tonight. It was about diversity when it comes to some Government policies. He said, 

'It is the buzz word in Govt and in Private Industry and has been for a few years.

'Diversity however has more application than just in the workforce and the balance between male and female, diversification of races employed and age groups employed so that views put around a table and the way we act better reflect the general population and differing cultures and views rather than having an all-male (or female) white cultural group dominating decision making.

'So why when it comes to some Govt Policies does the current Labour / Green Govt ignore this balanced Diversity principle?

'Specifically, I’m talking about our future Energy needs.

'As individuals, we need Energy to survive and go about our daily lives. We obtain that Energy from what we eat and drink. The vast majority of us take in a balanced diet including grains, vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, water, etc. Those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan cut aspects of that variety out but still don’t only choose one food source.

'When it comes to the Nation our Energy needs are currently met from three main sources, Electricity, Gas and Coal. With minor contributions from other forms like biomass, solar, etc.

'The Government's future plans for NZ have the country very heavily reliant on Electricity and that Electricity is to come from Renewable sources primarily, Hydro, Wind, Geothermal and more in the future from Solar which commercially in NZ is very much in its infancy. The problem is that all of those forms rely on Mother Nature who is unpredictable to a certain extent and most new projects fit into the category of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) projects. As an example of Mother Nature’s unpredictability in the March Quarter of this year, Coal fired electricity generation was up from 24% of the total in 2020 to 44% in 2021. A nine year high. This was driven by low rainfall, low wind, and some outages in the gas sector but it does show how the diversity of sources for Electricity Generation is very much required.

'A Country’s Energy capabilities are measured by what is known as the Energy Trilemma. This looks at Reliability, Security, and Affordability of supply. NZ has been falling down this scale in recent years. Over the past five years, the price of Electricity in NZ has risen by approximately 50% reaching $120/MWh or more. In a similar period, Australia‘s price has fallen from around A$107 / MWh down to A$35 / MWh as the country has invested heavily in new low-cost renewable capacity.

'As NZ pushes down the path of more Electricity use for transport and industry to replace Coal and Diesel boilers and Internal Combustion engines in road transport it is going to need much, much more generation to cope with the demand as well as a significant investment in the distribution network. . It has been estimated that something like twice as much generation will be required by 2050 to cope with growth in the population, industrial usage and transport usage and it will have almost total reliability in renewable energy. (Coal and Gas will be out of the picture by then due to commitments on Climate Control)

'So my viewpoint is that NZ needs to get on with developing new Generation and some blinkers need to come off as to how this is going to be fueled so that we have that Reliable, Secure, and Affordable supply that will attract investment into the industry in this country. Their current views on how this additional Generation demand will be met  lack diversity in source and increase the risk of making NZ a less attractive investment option for new ideas and industries.'

Diversity - 27 April 2021

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