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Thread: why are power prices so high?

  1. #21
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    I disagree.

    We have had the whole privatisation debarcle in Australia. The trains stopped running, the power failed and everything got dearer not cheaper. The problem is in the implementation, and since our government and probably NZ's also are an impressive combination of incompetence and corruption and totally unaccountable the implementation of privatisation of essential monopolies has been a disaster.

    Your should privatise power generation, retain ownership and veto of the distribution grid for government and the private suppliers handle retail and pay proportionally for access to the grid. Likewise telephones, rail etc.

    Also realise that hydro is not the eco neutral solution you may think it is.

    Private industry is driven by economics. This is the essential problem with fission. Fission is like a train running downhill, if the brakes fail it runs away. Fusion is the opposite. Private companies see a meltdown as a cost of doing business. If it's cheaper to compensate than avoid that is what they will do. Xeon fought the valdez fines all the way to the high court and the legal bills ended up a fraction of the fines, and of course they are tax deductable. Watch BP do the same trick. Ask the Alaskan fishermen how well they cmae out of that.

    I'll post my electricity charges tomorrow. Very interesting data that.

    2c.

  2. #22
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    re nuclear power- what happens to the waste you have to get rid of? Oh right, we'll ship it to another country......

    And they might be safe, but still things can go wrong, because they are dependent on people.., and if things go wrong they usually go very wrong and the country just isn't big enough for that.

    Just my opinion

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrival View Post
    re nuclear power- what happens to the waste you have to get rid of? Oh right, we'll ship it to another country......
    There isn't really all that much waste produced that can't be reused. I've read estimates of all the nuclear waste produced in the US since they started producing power from nuclear reactors being able to fit onto a football pitch to a depth of 1m.

    And it doesn't take all that long for it to become reasonably safe either.

    The generally accepted thing to do with anything that can't be reprocessed is to store it until such a time that we will need it; and that time will definitely come as we develop new technologies.

  4. #24
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    BY the way, what is the big nuclear power plant looking thing in the center of the North Island. When I was driving through last fall I could have sworn I saw a nuke plant (shapely stack and all).

    I don;t recall exactly where I was, but I would guess it was either between Rotorua and Taupo or else was west of Taupo.

    Was that an old shut-down plant?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueDonim View Post
    BY the way, what is the big nuclear power plant looking thing in the center of the North Island. When I was driving through last fall I could have sworn I saw a nuke plant (shapely stack and all).

    I don;t recall exactly where I was, but I would guess it was either between Rotorua and Taupo or else was west of Taupo.

    Was that an old shut-down plant?
    I think you will find that it is a geothermal plant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geother...in_New_Zealand

  6. #26
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    A few points....

    1) there are nuclear reactors in New Zealand, for research purposes

    but

    2) When building a reactor areas of volcanic or earthquake risk are quite a big no-no Sort of rules out NZ anyway!

    3) NZ used to be over 90% supplied by renewable energy sources but this has slipped back to about 60%

    4) A large aluminium smelter on the Mainland uses 20% of the total electricity prodcued here (because it's cheap and renewable - Iceland has a similar situation)

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cappuccino View Post
    I think you will find that it is a geothermal plant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geother...in_New_Zealand
    Thanks, you must be right. I didn't realise the cooling towers looked the same

  8. #28
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by veronica View Post
    I can't understand with the amount of sun and wind that we get here there isn't more use of solar (both on an individualscale aswell as commercial) and wind turbine.
    I looked at a combined solar/wind set up for our place.

    The cost was the equivalent of paying our electricity bills at current rates for 21 years - and still only produced 60% of our supply!

  9. #29
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    Also realise that hydro is not the eco neutral solution you may think it is.
    It's a hell of a lot better than burning coal or diesel to produce power.

    Those that are hard core in trying to become truly 'eco neutral' might as well live under a tree. There is simply no way a house can be completely off the grid and be sustainable if one wishes to have the luxuries of living in modern style. I'm talking your 50" plasma TV, computers running all day, cooking meals, daily hot showers, etc.

    Regard to guzzis3's anti-privatisation view. You have to consider the type of good or service because I don't know of any nation that has fully met the wants of their citizens through comprehensive socialism. Furthermore, in the are of privatisation, there is truly no such thing as a monopoly. Whereas in the socialist point of view, gov'ts will maintain their monopolistic powers regardless of the amount of waste that goes on within the organisation. As in the previous post, airlines is a good example of where privatisation works.

    re nuclear power- what happens to the waste you have to get rid of? Oh right, we'll ship it to another country......
    Uhm. I don't think it's that easy. Not at least nowadays with the strict guidelines by the Atomic Energy consortium. But who knows, there was a time where France was dumping their nuclear waste in the middle of the oceans with no one to know. I think the days where nuclear waste can not be managed is long gone. The fact is, nuclear waste IS MANAGEABLE.

    A good example is how Canada manages their nuclear waste. It gets buried 2 CN Towers deep in the artic shelf - deep in the earth (over 1.1 Km) - this is well below an form of ecological contact in any case, even if the waste were compromised down below.

    So why store it? Because the fact is that nuclear waste IS a renewable resource. The technology is available to recycle the waste in a 100 years time. There use to be long debate where the half life of the radioactive material would be in the 1000s of years but with modern nuclear reactors, they do not need a fully decayed plutonium to revert back to uranium before being recycled.

    There isn't really all that much waste produced that can't be reused. I've read estimates of all the nuclear waste produced in the US since they started producing power from nuclear reactors being able to fit onto a football pitch to a depth of 1m.
    Actually I don't think this is correct. I read in some Time magazine article that it's several football size fields large. Eitherway, The problem that scares most kiwis is how the waste is managed and the chance of reactor meltdowns. We don't know when the next one will be but I can assure you that since Canada's "CANDU" nuclear reactor has been in operation, it has never experienced a meltdown. Notably because it's the safest reactor in the world and their 3rd generation reactors DO NOT NEED FULLY ENRICHED URANIUM to operate. Which goes to show the meaning why IRAN wants to enrich uranium when Candu reactors don't need it.

  10. #30
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    Actually I don't think this is correct. I read in some Time magazine article that it's several football size fields large.
    Found it again - but then it is a wiki ref so is most likely to be wrong!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power#cite_ref-62

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