Media watch – Thursday

2 August 2018


Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

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  2. chrism56

     /  2nd August 2018

    One of the Trade papers had an interesting report on what the CEO of a wind turbine operator said, confirming what those in the industry know. Wind turbines add nothing to the security of the electricity supply and the next station built will be OCGTs, assuming they can get the gas. The interview was here but it behind a paywall, so here is the full text.
    Changes to wholesale market structure needed for wind – NZ
    Felicity Wolfe
    – Mon, 30 Jul 2018
    The issue of the “missing bucket of money” for the country’s wind generation must be addressed in order to ensure there will be future renewable energy investment, NZ Windfarms chief executive John Worth says. Worth says the problem at present is that because wind is “well correlated” around the country, when there is wind generation in the wholesale market the market design means that wind drives the clearing price “way down”. “So wind receives low revenues when there is wind, and when the wind is not blowing, the reverse happens – those who can generate receive much enhanced
    revenues.” Worth says that will be exacerbated when more wind enters the system, which would erode the investment case for commissioning any new site. He doubts, for example, that the investment analysis would currently stack up for Mercury’s 180 MW Turitea or 318 MW Puketoi sites despite having consents. He also says that despite being a believer in wind energy, either of those two developments would only damage the revenues for NZ Windfarms. “If Turitea and Puketoi are built, our analysis suggests that every wind farm in the Manawatu and probably West Wind and any new wind farm built in Taranaki will receive a price hit of between 10 and 20 per cent,” Worth told Energy News.
    “What it means is that every wind farm that gets built cannibalises the fortunes of the existing
    wind farms.” Worth notes that this issue is well understood, with the “missing bucket of money” expression having come from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
    Market tweaks NZ Windfarms has been talking with regulators and politicians and Worth says there has been interest in finding ways to resolve the market settings to ensure that wind farm developers can attract the capital they need. He accepts that intermittent renewables such as wind should not qualify for the same treatment as “more valuable” dispatchable fuel – thermal or stored hydro. “At a policy level, if nothing else happens, it is our view that resolving this issue will be the single biggest lever to seeing a more renewable future.”
    The firm suggests some changes to market settings to limit the “positive and minus volume-weighted price spread” against wind. It envisages a mechanism that caps the volume-weighted average price discount received by wind to perhaps five or so per cent. Worth says this would retain an “up-side” for storage while ensuring wind energy is well-utilised and “doesn’t get price-thumped.” The firm does not support “1970s draconian measures” such as feed-in tariffs, floor prices or other subsidies that exist in other markets. “Pretty much everybody in the electricity sector is now saying that wind will play a big role in the future – even if they don’t hold wind options,” he says. “But it gets heavily penalised as a
    fuel type.” Worth also says the lack of a “fertile merchant generation sector” in this country – when that exists in other similarly deregulated markets – suggests that the settings are not quite right. That lack of merchant generation adds “huge cost to the independent retailers” who are forced to buy off gentailers which hold over 90 per cent of the generation market. There are other ways to tackle the problem, including swaption-like mechanisms around hydro storage. “They are state-sponsored assets that are contributing to the issue,” he says. “You could force those with big hydro to make wedges of gigawatt-hours available to anyone else in the market, a bit like the Genesis-Meridian swaption, to provide other market participants with some of that hugely valuable storage.” But Worth believes this approach is also heavy handed. “Again, that’s more draconian than what we are proposing.”
    Capital attraction
    Worth says the issue about wind generation not being able to access higher payments in the market meant he was unsurprised when – despite recent political championing of wind and lifting electricity targets to 100 per cent renewable generation in a normal hydrological year by 2035 – Nova Energy’s Junction Road fast-start gas peaking plant will be the next large-scale generation built in this country. He also believes the current market settings could also mean that the next plant to be announced will also be gas-fired. The best place to attract energy sector capital that supports the Government’s and New Zealand’s carbon-neutral ambitions, should be in wind, he argues. But the current situation means that is not​
    happening. Instead the investment case is much stronger for thermal plant – such as Nova’s Junction Road development. “It’s a function of the same thing – while wind price is being driven down, peaking price is driven up. We get a 20 per cent price smashing and gas gets a 20 per cent price uplift, almost in direct proportion. This is of course the opposite of what the Government is actually trying to achieve.”
    Lone position
    Worth acknowledges that NZ Windfarms’ position is at odds with most other industry players – wind assets make up a small proportion of large gentailers’ portfolios. Their other peaking hydro and thermal plants gain from the current situation, so their wind activities are effectively cross-subsidised. He has been discussing the issue with politicians – including Green Party co-leader James Shaw – to ensure they are aware of the potential barriers to meeting renewable generation targets. He has been encouraged by how quickly politicians have got up to speed with the issue as a key barrier to a more renewable future. The firm has also had some success with the Electricity Authority. The regulator’s changes earlier this year to the pricing offer bands available to wind generators – bringing them more in-line with other generation types – followed lobbying by NZ Windfarms. It has installed sophisticated asset monitoring systems which take spot prices, forecast wind and turbine performance into account. The new price bands system will give the firm greater ability to ensure it is only running plant when the price is enough to cover its short-run marginal costs, including
    the turbine’s wear and tear. “This has had a very positive impact on our financial performance, and will continue to do so,” notes Worth.

    • Griff.

       /  2nd August 2018

      ‘Wind is cheap .
      Market failure because as happens in au the generators are busy using their assets to game the market.
      Thanks for that .

      Oh and son.
      Further basic math lessons will be charged for.
      Month number 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
      offset by negative three months .
      10,11,12, 1,2,3,4
      three months lag
      10,11,12, 1,2,3,4

      The Southern Oscillation Index
      The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) measures how abnormal the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin is. Negative values of this index correspond to El Niño conditions, while positive SOI values coincide with La Niña episodes.

      • chrism56

         /  3rd August 2018

        GriffIf you want to play stupid and jump threads, so be it.
        You can get the data on your beloved SOI here
        The data for the GISTEMP global temperatures, is here
        As you probably can’t even balance a checkbook, let alone do regression curves, it will have to be done by inspection. Look at the big spikes in the SOI for April and June 2017. Now find that in GISTEMP in July & September 2017.
        Now go back to your Facebook rants

      • chrism56

         /  4th August 2018

        And wind is only “cheap” because it imposes the costs of it unreliability on other generation. It makes GT operation more expensive, which is what the Windfarm operator says. That isn’t my opinion, it is what published research using operation data says.
        Note the paragraph in their summary “A secondary contribution we offer in this paper is to adjust the LCOE estimates provided by EIA to reflect the real-world operating characteristics of different generation resources on the power grid. We find that EIA’s estimates of the LCOE for new generation resources are too low, because EIA assumes these resources will operate at the highest levels possible rather than at historical levels. We also find that intermittent resources increase the LCOE for conventional resources through a similar mechanism, that is, by reducing their run time without reducing their fixed costs. We refer to these as “imposed costs,” and we estimate them to be as high as $29.94 per megawatt-hour of intermittent generation when we model combined cycle natural gas energy displaced by wind “

  3. Reply
    • Corky

       /  2nd August 2018

      You can’t go wrong with Ginger Baker.

      • Zedd

         /  2nd August 2018

        NAH… Buddy Rich, then Phil.. BUT if truth be known, Howard is the #1 contender for ‘Simon’s BIG HERO’ followed by ‘sir john’ :/

  4. Missy

     /  2nd August 2018

  5. Reply
  6. This is behind a paywall, but it’s an interesting development on the MMP threshold.

    • Griff.

       /  2nd August 2018

      About time
      Still will not help national a lower threshold will just transfer some of their vote to a conservative party.
      If it is anything like previous attempts at a conservative party it will end up discredited by court proceedings .

    • Zedd

       /  2nd August 2018

      interesting.. a bit like the cannabis debate; in Govt. they wanted nothing to do with it, but NOW they are considering it; even trying to take it over… Politics 101 strikes again ! (populist bandwagon jumping stuf)

  7. Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  2nd August 2018

    I see on ‘Democracy Now !’ (Indep. USA news) that ‘F-Bk’ has removed 32 pages from the site; believed to be trying to distort info. about the parties in ‘mid term’ elections.. similar to MrT campaign/Russian collusion stuff 😀

  9. Gezza

     /  2nd August 2018

    Photos of baby Neve banned

    Speaker Mallard has issued a warning to journalists planning to take unauthorised photos of returning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s baby Neve.

    Ardern is set to return to the Beehive from maternity leave next week following the birth of her first child.

    The Parliamentary Press Gallery was informed that any journalists who took unauthorised photos would have their accreditation removed and their employer would also be penalised.

    The only time phots could be taken are in specified areas or by invitation only.
    It is understood Mallard made the ruling after discussions with Ardern and that he wants to make Parliament more family-friendly.

  10. sorethumb

     /  2nd August 2018

    On The Panel Penny Ashton complains about the Pop up Globe using male actors as they did in Shakespeare’s day. She argues it is reminiscent of the oppression of women. It appears the soy boys have caved in. WTF shouldn’t we be allowed to see the Real McCoy?


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