Visitor essay by Eric Worrall
In accordance with local weather researcher Jen Purdie, even New Zealand with its abundance of windy mountains, geothermal sources and huge hydropower lakes can’t present sufficient renewable vitality for individuals to dwell in consolation and ease.
The writer calls it “managing the demand”, however the message is evident.
As NZ will get severe about local weather change, can electrical energy substitute fossil fuels in time?
February 16, 2021 2.15pm AEDT
Senior Analysis Fellow, College of Otago
As fossil fuels are phased out over the approaching many years, the Local weather Change Fee (CCC) suggests electrical energy will take up a lot of the slack, powering our automobile fleet and changing coal and fuel in industrial processes.
However can the electrical energy system actually present for this elevated load the place and when it’s wanted? The reply is “sure”, with some caveats.
It’s laborious to get a way of the size of the brand new technology required, but when wind was the only real expertise employed to satisfy demand by 2050, between 10 and 60 new wind farms could be wanted nationwide.
Managing the demand
In addition to offering extra electrical energy provide, demand administration and batteries may even be vital. Our modelling exhibits peak demand (which normally happens when everybody activates their heaters and ovens at 6pm in winter) may very well be as much as 40% greater by 2050 than it’s now.
However assembly this each day interval of excessive demand might see costly plant sitting idle for a lot of the time (with the final 25% of technology capability solely used about 10% of the time).
That is significantly an issue in a renewable electrical energy system when the hydro lakes are dry, as hydro is likely one of the few renewable electrical energy sources that may be saved through the day (as water behind the dam) and used over the night peak (by producing with that saved water).
Demand response will due to this fact be wanted. For instance, this would possibly contain an industrial plant turning off when there’s an excessive amount of load on the electrical energy grid.
Learn extra: https://theconversation.com/as-nz-gets-serious-about-climate-change-can-electricity-replace-fossil-fuels-in-time-155123
What a depressing imaginative and prescient of the longer term. A future the place vitality is rationed. A future the place if you happen to attempt to activate an equipment on the flawed time a authorities accredited sensible meter will nag you concerning the invoice you’ll have to pay, or inform you that no garments washing or dish washing machines are permitted be switched on till 2pm tomorrow, when the photo voltaic panels are on-line.
All of that is solely an issue as a result of the New Zealand authorities is fixating on unreliable zero carbon vitality sources.
Even if you happen to suppose CO2 emissions are vital, there’s another which might not mess up everybody’s lives. New Zealand vitality demand at the moment peaks at round 900MW, lower than the output of a single giant nuclear reactor.
One or two first rate measurement zero carbon nuclear crops, and there could be no want for any of this. Trendy nuclear crops are secure – even in Earthquake susceptible New Zealand, passive secure reactor designs like pebble mattress, that are bodily incapable of meltdown even with whole coolant loss, wouldn’t trigger a serious radiological incident if the reactor was broken by an Earthquake.
Inexpensive, dependable zero carbon electrical energy could be obtainable 24×7, any time you flick a swap.