Press release

Options to promote consumers interests through Winter 2023

  • Consumers
  • Generation
  • Low emissions

The Electricity Authority has today released a consultation paper seeking feedback on possible options to promote consumer interests during periods of peak electricity demand next winter.

The options being put forward in the Driving efficient solutions to promote consumer interests through winter 2023 paper range from relatively simple options such as improved information on resource availability and wind forecasting, through to more complex options for new market products or ancillary services.

“The indications are that next winter there may be periods where there may not be much wriggle room between available flexible electricity supply and peak demand. We are acting now to investigate what potential options exist to reduce the risk to consumers and look after their interests,” says Andrew Doube, General Manager of Market Policy at the Electricity Authority.

“The question we’re looking at is not if there is enough generation around to meet peak demand, but whether that generation can start up fast enough if demand spikes or wind drops.

“Intermittent generation, such as wind, is playing a greater role in our electricity supply and coupled with the increasing cost of gas, coal and carbon emissions, complicates the supply picture.

“More intermittent generation makes supply forecasts more uncertain, while higher fuel and carbon costs have increased start-up costs for thermal generation which becomes a major factor in deciding whether to run thermal generation which can take hours to start from cold.

“We have suggested a range of possible options to resolve incentive or information gaps, some of which could be implemented in time for next winter, and we welcome feedback on them and other potential options.

“We want to make sure the system remains fit for purpose with consumers’ interests at the heart of it, not just for next winter but as New Zealand transitions to low carbon economy,” said Mr Doube.

Submissions on the consultation paper close at 5pm, Friday 16 December 2022

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