Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Would a Power Crisis Look Like?

I know it's election year and my parents are pensioners that I definitely don't want to scare into making themselves sick by not heating the house adequately but what language can we use to describe the situation if:

1/ when you turn on the television you are encouraged to make tiny savings of electricity like using candles over dinner?

2/ opening the newspaper (this morning's Press, not online apparently) you find the head of Transpower Patrick Strange commenting that recent rains have for now stabilised the situation but add

Don't forget, if we lost a thermal plant we'd immediately be very nervous again, so we're certainly not taking the foot off yet.

3/ in the same article the Electricity Comission is looking for businesses and other groups that can supply power into the grid as a contingency (presumably using the dirty noisy diesel generators they've been keeping in the basement since Auckland lost power in the late nineties making us an international laughing stock--or has everyone thrown those out by now?)

4/ if large companies who employ many people have significantly cut back consumption for weeks now, either as a result of negotiations with providers or as a result of huge spot prices.

5/ we are burning diesel at Whirinaki and imported coal at Huntly and having workers operate an asbestos ridden power station in Taranaki all to supply the South Island with power and save the lake levels.

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