Whilst there is much debate whether we do in fact have a problem it seems word has got out that New Zealand may be moving towards black out as the low rainfall impacts on our ability to generate power. Reported in the Guardian today:
The irony is that we should not be wasting energy full stop. For one thing it's horrendously expensive and it's not good for the planet. This is another example of the all pure, clean and green NZers not walking the talk.
New Zealanders are to be urged to wash dishes by hand and turn off some of their household lights as the country teeters on the brink of a power crisis caused by drought.
After two years of dry weather the low level of water in lakes that drive New Zealand's hydroelectric power plants is causing concern. The energy minister, David Parker, yesterday denied claims that the country was facing rolling power cuts, but said that unless there was significant rainfall soon households would be asked to cut electricity consumption by up to 15% during the peak early evening time.
Hydroelectric stations usually produce about 75% of New Zealand's electricity but lack of rainfall has reduced that output in recent weeks to only 50%. Coal, diesel and gas-fired power plants are trying to make up the shortfall, but more strain is expected to be put on the national grid with the arrival of winter in the southern hemisphere.
Backed by the government, the electricity industry is to launch a power-saving campaign on television.
"I think the advice will be that, while it's not an emergency, it is time for people to be turning off lights in rooms they are not using, certainly not leaving the computer on all night or the heated towel rail on for 24 hours a day," Helen Clark, New Zealand's prime minister, said in a radio interview.
You'll be pleased to know our towel rails are on timers and I am becoming increasingly obessed about leaving lights on unnecessarily. I guess our real luxury is having the computer downloading (but not all night I hasten to add) but this is just the alternative to us watching hours of TV. Although we're not squeaky clean when it comes to power saving I can sleep easy that we're doing out bit!