Megan Woods

Woodn’t ya know it? Megan has a magic wand

It appears that the Minister for Energy and Resources, the Hon Dr Megan Woods, has a magic wand hidden away somewhere. It seems that Dr Woods will be able to wave said wand, utter the magic incantation ‘renewables’ and achieve something in New Zealand that the rest of the world cannot.

Dr Woods has promised us all cheaper electricity prices as more and more wind and solar is added to our electricity supply mix.

In an answer to a question in the house on Tuesday, Dr Woods said: Quote.

I imagine consumers will be incredibly happy about the policy course that this Government is setting, because not only does it allow us to address the issues that we need to but what we also know is that the cheapest forms of generation that will be built are renewables. In 2020, the levelised cost of solar is 8c a kilowatt hour, wind 6c a kilowatt hour, and gas at 20c a kilowatt hour. If we go through to 2035, that’s 6c for solar, 6 for wind, and 25 for gas; through to 2050, that’s 5c a kilowatt hour, 5c for wind, and 32c for gas. So I’m assuming consumers will be pretty happy with the policy path this Government is on. End quote.


A recent post on WUWT which asked the question: “If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?” sprang to mind. Quote.

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Woods generates more heat than light

Jonathan Young valiantly attempted to get a straight and simple answer out of the Minister of Energy and Resources in the house on Thursday. When Young raised a point of order that Dr Woods had not answered the question, the speaker ran interference and said that she had “addressed” it.

Just because you address an envelope does not mean that you deliver it!

You can read it all in Hansard, or watch below, but it all started with the observation that future wholesale prices for 2020 electricity are 40% above the current level and Young asked whether that would be reflected in household bills and when.

Woods waffled on about consented wind energy in the future that would depress prices. Then there was some argy-bargy with Brownlee and the speaker before Young raised a point of order: Quote.

Jonathan Young: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I asked a question around prices that have been contracted for the year 2020, so this is just over a year away, and the infrastructure the Minister is talking about?they haven’t even turned a sod in the ground.End quote.

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We find the source of de Nile

Oops, don’t they know incandescent bulbs are bad for the planet?
Cover graphic for Te Mauri Hiko – Energy Futures

Last November, our History doctor, the Minister for Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods, announced in Question Time that all we needed was 4.5 windfarms per year. Quote.

That equates to a very achievable target of around the equivalent of 4.5 wind farms per year. End quote.


Whaleoil, and the commenters, have had a lot of fun in the intervening months discussing the 4.5 windfarms per year mantra. We have noted that the size of the windfarms was not revealed and that none are consented and none are under construction and the ones we already have are wearing out and there are all manner of issues with this projection. If you wish to catch up here is a sample:

Earlier this year, a politician was prompted to send the source document to Whaleoil, for which we are duly grateful.

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4.5 windfarms per yeah/nah

Never mind the view, feel the green

Our beloved Minister of Energy and Resources, the Hon Dr Megan Woods, (who seems to have a well-rounded approach to her portfolios) has assured us that all we need for future energy security is to commission 4.5 windfarms per year.

Last year we missed that target. Along with planting (or was that mulching?) a million or so trees, building 1000 Kiwifarce houses, halting immigration, fixing child poverty, achieving a zero road toll and opening a mine. But these are minor matters, I am sure that everything is actually tickety boo. Indeed, we exceeded all targets for the number of working groups, commissions of enquiry and such like. Quote.

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Hey, Megan; about those 4.5 windfarms per year …

A quick question for you, Minister of Energy and Resources: Does your calculation which results in New Zealand needing 4.5 windfarms (of unstated size and rating) take into account the turbines’ dismal performance after a few years? Quote.

YA new study of 3000 wind turbines in the UK has been reported in The Telegraph and it is not good news for the 4.5 windfarms per year as they are wearing out more rapidly that was first thought.

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines ? the biggest study of its kind ?warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.

The wind energy industry and the Government base all their calculations on turbines enjoying a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

The study estimates that routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity being produced by wind farms in the next decade.

Older turbines will need to be replaced more quickly than the industry estimates while many more will need to be built onshore if the Government is to meet renewable energy targets by 2020.

The extra cost is likely to be passed on to households, which already pay about ?1?billion a year in a consumer subsidy that is added to electricity bills.

The report?s author, Prof Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and a former energy adviser to the World Bank, discovered that the ?load factor? ? the efficiency rating of a turbine based on the percentage of electricity it actually produces compared with its theoretical maximum ? is reduced from 24 per cent in the first 12 months of operation to just 11 per cent after 15 years. […]

Prof Hughes said in his conclusion: ?Adjusted for age and wind availability, the overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.

?In addition, larger wind farms have systematically worse performance than smaller wind farms.? […]

He said: ?I strongly believe the bigger turbines are proving more difficult to manage and more likely to interfere with one another.

“British turbines have got bigger and wind farms have got bigger and they are creating turbulence which puts more stress on them.

“It is this stress that causes the breakdowns and maintenance requirements that is underlying the problem in performance that I have been seeing.? […]

The report, published last week by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a think tank that has campaigned against wind farms, will give ammunition to sceptics, especially within the Conservative Party, who believe the cost of subsidies to the wind industry is far too high and that the growing number of turbines are blighting the countryside. […]

?Bluntly, wind turbines onshore and offshore still cost too much and wear out far too quickly to offer the developing world a realistic alternative to coal.?

Prof Hughes said his analysis had uncovered a ?hidden? truth that was not even known to the industry. His report was sent to an independent statistician at University College London who confirmed its findings. […]

Dr Gordon Edge, the Director of policy at RenewableUK, the body that represents Britain?s wind farm industry, said: ?Wind farm developers only earn money for the clean electricity they actually generate, so it?s very much in their interests to make sure that their turbines are maintained? to an optimum level, which includes upgrading as the technology improves.

?Better turbines are being developed all the time, so it?s absurd to focus purely on the past as this report does, and pretend that that?s the way things are going to be in the future.? End quote.

Oh well, that’s all tickety boo then.

Minister Woods: How are the efficiency factors and load ratings performing for the 4.5 windfarms build in 2018? (Asking for a friend.)

Greenpeace runs Labour as well as Greens

We have always known that the Green party was simply an outlet for Greenpeace policies. Russel Norman,?Catherine Delahunty and Richard Northey spring to mind as Greenpeace MPs.

It was clear from the Comrades’ Captain’s Call Policy (CCCP) that her instructions came directly from the rag-tag Greenpeace mob on the Beehive steps.

Now Dr Megan Woods, our bumbling Minister for Energy?and Resources, has told the House that she also takes instruction from Greenpeace. Quote.

As the member notes, I recently met with representatives of 8 Rivers. As energy and resources Minister, I meet a wide range of stakeholders. At the meeting with 8 Rivers, I listened to what they had to say. I explained that the Government has set very clear signals around policy settings and also explained to them that, as I am not a Provincial Growth Fund Minister, I wouldn’t be discussing anything related to their application. As for their case, if they choose to proceed, this is one of the issues that would no doubt be explored within the proposed feasibility study for the project and all other commercial deliberations. I do note that I made it my business in this portfolio to meet with a broad range of stakeholders in the sector, such as Greenpeace, who I met with last week, and not just the narrow, vested interests as clearly happened under previous Ministers. End quote.

This minister with a doctorate in history has responsibility for Energy and Resources and the best example she can drag up to illustrate a “broad range of stakeholders” in the energy and resources sector is Greenpeace!!!!

She then compounded the stupidity by describing Greenpeace as not being a “narrow, vested interest” group.

On what planet? Read more »

A very dense thicket of Woods

Rain forest along the Milford Track

Jonathan Young continued his questioning of the hapless Minister of Energy and Resources in the house on Thursday when he picked up on her comment about the 6 TW of energy that Woods was intending to store in summer and use in winter.? (See yesterday’s post.)

After the usual, “Does the Minister stand by all her statements” and getting the usual, “Yes” he asked. Quote.

Is the Minister aware that 6 terawatts of energy is enough to power 60 billion 100-watt bulbs at the same time?over five times as many lightbulbs as are in use on the whole planet?and does she still stand by her statement yesterday that New Zealand produces 6 terawatts of surplus energy every summer? End quote.

Which was really a bit of a stupid statistic to use, he could have got some better ones from Whaleoil. (Just saying)? No one wants to turn on several billion 100 watt light bulbs at once; doesn’t he realise 100-watt bulbs have been replaced with LEDs?

Woods gave another of her long-winded non-answers: Quote. Read more »


There’s a cuckoo in the Woods [Updated]

Yellow-billed cuckoo

Jonathan Young was back on the hunt for answers from Megan Woods, the Minister of Energy and Resources, after her answers to his questions yesterday left him (and all thinking people) deeply unsatisfied. Quote.

So when the Minister said yesterday “this Government is intent on building a resilient energy system with more resilient forms of renewable energy.”, how many megawatts of new renewable generation will be needed to reliably replace coal, gas, and diesel generation? End quote.

Nice simple question that could have a one sentence answer. “xxx MW”. Did he get that answer?? No, of course not.? ?Woods rattled on about how much extra electricity generation would be needed by 2050 and told us it was, Quote.

… a very achievable target of around the equivalent of 4.5 wind farms per year…. End quote.

4.5 wind farms per year!? My recent post about covering Taranaki in wind farms was a little tongue-in-cheek. It appears I was not joking after all; Woods said the first one was being built in Taranaki.

As Woods had not answered the question there was a bit of back and forth with the Speaker and Brownlee getting involved and Woods was told to answer again. Read more »


Woods cannot see the wood for the trees

Question 10 in the house on Tuesday was entertaining and enlightening.? ?Jonathan Young asked Megan Woods, the Minister of Energy and Resources about any reports?she had seen on the state of the electricity market, and whether she believed Government policy had the ability to impact the market positively or negatively?

Woods reply was to the effect that it was all the fault of the previous government and vulnerable people were being left behind and the winter energy payment was wonderful etc etc and that, Quote.

… we are leading a transition towards affordable, renewable energy like hydrogen and away from expensive and vulnerable fossil fuels. End quote.

Then Young pressed for details about electricity futures prices for next month and Woods mentioned $600 due to problems in the gas infrastructure but that all will be well shortly.

My follow-up question would have been: If a short-term problem with the gas infrastructure has pushed electricity prices through the roof, what does your government think is going to happen when the gas tap is turned off due to your government’s policies? Read more »


This is what the green future looks like

Anticipated investments in new power plants, storage and electricity networks by 2031 in billion euros

Sit up and take notice James Shaw, Megan Woods and friends.?This is the likely result of Cindy’s Captain’s Call Policy (CCCP).

In Germany, they called it the “Switch to the Future”??Energiewende. (Energy transition). If ruthless German efficiency cannot make the technology work then what hope does New Zealand have?

Germany has led the world (where have we heard that phrase recently?) and bullied the EU into climate change targets. They have set milestones and targets just like “Zero Carbon 2050” and it seems that it has not been a ripping success.? They had their ‘once in a generation’ solution, just like we are having Ardern’s generation’s “nuclear-free moment”.

This from the GWFP who translated the report from German. Quote.

Germany?s Federal Audit Office has accused the federal government of having largely failed to manage the transformation of Germany?s energy systems.

The expenditure for the ecological restructuring of the energy supply is in a ?blatant disproportion to the hitherto poor yield?, said President of the Court of Audit Kay Scheller in Berlin: ?The Federal Government is at risk to fail with its once in a generation project of the Energiewende?.

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