23 Jul Climate Change experts warn against rushing to replace natural gas
Last week the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) released a report warning of the dangers in trying to replace natural gas in our electricity system.
They explain how natural gas is so important in keeping electricity prices down by providing “backup generation when demand is very high and/ or the supply from intermittent renewables is low”, such as on cold winter nights.
They warn that without natural gas, electricity prices could be 14% higher for households, 29% higher for commercial users and 39% for industrial users.
This would have a major impact on the economy “disproportionately impact low-income households, including Māori and Pasifika households.”
At the same time, it would have very little impact on reducing emissions. The ICCC says much better priorities would be electrifying transport and industrial processes, and to do that we need natural gas to keep the price of electricity down.
We agree with the report and it’s pleasing to see the Government does too, saying they will be flexible and careful to avoid major price hikes.
This is exactly how good policy should be made – by carefully considering evidence, listening to experts and weighing up the costs and benefits of different approaches.
You can read the full report of the ICCC here, the response from PEPANZ here and the Government’s response here.