Meridian Energy

Has Radio NZ misled listeners through failure to disclose conflicts of interest

Yesterday Radio NZ ran a piece about electricity prices.


It was promoted likes this:

The former head of the country’s biggest power company says electricity prices will fall to a third of their current level in a little over a decade because of the spread of solar power.

Keith Turner claimed in that interview that very soon a combination of solar power and batteries would be cheaper than grid power.

That may well be, but I am reliably informed that solar power currently costs about 20 cents/kWh and, further according to recent NZ research, it costs more than 50c to store surplus energy in batteries.

There is currently no technology on the horizon that can reduce the cost of solar power by a factor of 4 and battery storage by a factor of more than 10. ? Read more »

Government refusing to put more corporate welfare into Tiwai

?I hope they decide to stay?, said Key this morning.

Looks like National?s favourite pollster has told them the public have lost their appetite for corporate handouts. ?Too many stuff-ups by Steve has come home to roost.

A decision to keep the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter open appears increasingly likely.

Meridian Energy and MightyRiverPower shares gained 3 percent on Friday ahead of a scheduled announcement today on the future of the Bluff industrial plant that uses about 13 percent of all the electricity generated in New Zealand.

Meridian is presumed to be a winner from whatever is announced because it could expect to sell 572 Megawatts of electricity it currently provides to Tiwai Point at a price better than the discounted level it renegotiated in 2013. ? ? Read more »

Corporate bludger on the bludge again

NZ Aluminium Smelters are a corporate bludger and blackmailer, and they are at it again, on the bludge yet again for cheaper power and playing the bully boy as well.

Electricity demand would require about a decade to recover back to present levels, if ?the Tiwai Pt smelter in Southland closed, a government report says.

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) is the largest single electricity user in the country, accounting for almost 13 per cent of national electricity usage in 2013.

NZAS and Meridian Energy agreed a new power deal in August 2013, which included Meridian cutting its electricity charges, after a lengthy standoff was ended with the help of a $30 million Government subsidy. However, the smelter can terminate the contract completely from January 2017 provided it gives 15 months’ notice.

The smelter is complaining that it pays some of the highest prices for power in the world and wants a better deal, yet again.

Read more »

The Green Taliban cost us the blunt end of a Billion dollars, and counting…

That ‘nice’ Mr Norman and his Labour sidekicks?cost this country a fair amount of money

Of all the MPs who might have asked awkward questions about National’s state asset sales programme, few would have guessed it would be the leader of the party which would have happily sold the lot.

A year to the day since the NZX debut of Meridian, the largest of the partial sales, ACT leader David Seymour delivered his first question in the House on Wednesday, with the pace of a 13-year-old giving a reading he couldn’t wait to be over.

But in asking about the rising share prices of the former state-owned electricity companies, he raised an issue which every other politician now seems unwilling to ask out loud.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been accrued by investors since the sales, especially since start of September.

The issue deserves another public hearing, as since it became clearer that National would govern again, those who purchased the shares have seen their investments boom, as the market reassesses what they are worth under John Key.

Seymour meant to make an attack on just the Opposition for its attempts to undermine the sales through the threat of regulation, NZ Power. Instead he raised a wider point.

How much did the political folly – from both sides of the House – cost the taxpayers, who as Seymour pointed out, will have to make up the difference?

Well, we lost a cool bil in actual sale income for the government to use to, oh, I don’t know, assist with housing or child poverty,say. ?And all the investors that were scared away lost out on earning their share of the gains. ?Gains that are now going to the very institutional investors that the Green Taliban wanted to prevent getting fat at the expense of every day mum and dad investors. ? Read more »

The unintended of consequences of ill-conceived policy

Labour and the Greens announced that they were prepared to implement a North Korean style central power regulator and buying mechanism on the premise it would lower prices.

Report after report and real life examples have proven otherwise. Another unintended consequence is that renewable energy projects would be unlikely to proceed and instead thermal solutions sought.

The head of New Zealand’s largest electricity generator says the Opposition owes it to New Zealand to give more details of its power plans.

And he warned the plan could undermine investment in renewable energy.

Labour and the Greens have jointly proposed scrapping the wholesale energy market in favour of a single state-operated buyer of electricity, called NZ Power, claiming the move would save hundreds of millions of dollars on consumer power bills.

Today Mark Binns, chief executive of Meridian Energy, told the commerce select committee that while a lack of detail meant it was hard to properly analyse the plan, Meridian believed it would favour thermal generation over renewable plants such as wind farms.

“Our view is it would potentially impact on renewables because it would make thermals, particularly gas plants – which are easier to consent and easier to put in place quickly – more viable in that environment,” Binns told MPs. Read more »

The transparency mixed ownership brings…

Just a minute…didn’t Labour and the Greens say that power prices would rise under the Mixed Ownership model?

The NZ Herald reports:

Newly-listed Meridian Energy said the average price it received for its power generation in the September quarter was 22 per cent lower than the same quarter last year, mostly reflecting higher-than-average lake levels, while demand was flat.

Catchment inflows were 139 per cent of the historical average in the quarter and 21 per cent higher than the same quarter last year, Meridian?said in a statement to the NZX.? Read more »

Why I think I will vote No in the referendum

With the looming asset sales referendum I have thought long and hard about it.

Which way should I vote?

The question is:

“Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

Should I vote No? These would be my reasons for voting against the referendum:

  1. The government should be in the market owning as much as possible and these companies are a good start.
  2. Anything the Greens or Labour says is gospel.
  3. It sends a message to the government even though they won the election campaigning on asset sales and Labour campaigned against.

Or should I vote Yes?

The reason for voting yes would be:

  1. The Greens and Labour are attempting to re-litigate the general election.
  2. Anything the Greens support is loony.
  3. It is a pointless waste of time as the referendum isn’t binding and nor should they ever be.
  4. I agree with the question.

Now those are the two positions…which one to vote for?? Read more »

Is Rio Tinto NZ’s biggest corporate bludger?

Rio Tinto has turned into a massive corporate bludger.

They have stiffed taxpayers $30 million and Bill English and John Key let them.

Meridian Energy has resolved its negotiations with Rio Tinto subsidiary New Zealand Aluminium Smelters locking in the Tiwai smelter until at least January 2017 – with the help of a $30 million subsidy from the New Zealand government.

The deal, which has been a year in the making, will help clear the way for Meridian’s $5 billion float on the stock exchange – expected to go ahead before the end of the year.

Resolution of the negotiations has been viewed as essential for the Government to get a good sales price for Meridian because the smelter is a key customer of Meridian.

It also makes up around 13 per cent of New Zealand electricity demand and closure of the plant would have impacted power prices across the board.

Things are pretty bad for the government when David Farrar gives them a ticking off.

But bloody annoyed they screwed $30 million from the taxpayers as a subsidy. I think the Government shouldn?t have given them a cent. If the smelter closes, so be it. It is not the job of taxpayers to subsidise unprofitable industries.

If only David was as consistent with other corporate bludgers.

Key calls Rio Tinto’s bluff

Well so much for the shonkey, donkey & lackey of foreign interests rolling over for Rio Tinto to keep asset sales on track as predicted by Clayton Cosgrove.

John Key has called their bluff.

Prime Minister John Key has called Anglo-American mining giant Rio Tinto’s bluff, saying the government will offer no more than the short-term subsidy offered last week to keep the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter open.

Key told the TV3 and Newstalk ZB networks that Rio, which owns just on 80 percent of the 41 year-old smelter, had rejected the short term subsidy over Easter weekend, saying it needed a long term deal and was returning to talks with its supplier, Meridian Energy.

“We have put our best foot forward, put our only card on the table,” Key told TV3’s Firstline. “We have no interest in a long term subsidy. If it can’t stand on its own two feet, it shouldn’t be there.”? Read more »

Unqualified poets, cranks, busybodies, former cricket and football players and other B-list celebs tells us to live like the Green Taliban

A reported 100 self-important but otherwise completely unqualified poets, cranks, busybodies, ?former cricket and football players and other B-list celebs have signed up to a meaningless, mealy-mouthed campaign aimed at making ordinary New Zealanders feel bad about the Global Warming scam.

Wayne Smith says he is making a “moral stand” on climate change in joining 100 celebrated Kiwis in a major call to address New Zealand’s most critical risks.

The former All Black coach is among a high-powered cross section of public figures and thinkers who have lent their names to an appeal demanding politicians face up to what the group sees as the five biggest issues facing the nation.

You can read this list of attention-grabbing nonentities and not find a single person who would know global warming if it reared up and warmed their cans of Tui. The very first thing anyone from the climate change is our fault team say when anyone pipes up and calls them on their bullshit is “You’re not qualified, not peer-reviewed.yada yada yada”….Well same same for them. Wayne Smith should stick to coaching rugby, not espousing?quackery?and pseudo-science.? Read more »