If enough people could do a good-enough (rather than solar perfection) measure like hot water heat pumps, the demand must on the electricity supply must decrease.
Some research I saw by colleagues of Bob Lloyd (which I'll try looking up a citation for in the morning...) suggested that hot water heat pumps were in fact a better option for most of the country because they continued to provide electricity savings even in cold weather, whereas solar hot water only works when the sun's out. As overall electricity demand is greater in cold weather (and electricity shortages more likely in winter) using less electricity in winter meant hot water heat pumps would better contribute to reducing carbon emissions than would solar hot water.
I think the same would be true for photovoltaics as for solar hot water, so from that point of view, you can take comfort in the thought that hot water heat pumps may be closer to perfection than solar anyway.
The other advantage to this is that solar panels are capital improvements to their property, something that NZers are not so much keen on as outright addicted to. They’re tax free investments.
Except we’re not so keen on capital improvements that don’t improve the capital value of the property. All the research I’m aware of shows that so far buyers won’t pay the necessary amount more for energy-efficiency improved properties, so for now, photovoltaics/solar hot water/insulation/double glazing/etc can only be valued in terms of what the property-owner will get out of them over the period they’re planning to live in the house; otherwise they’re over-capitalising.
Also, on the smoothing effect, yes, there would be some, but there are (presumably, based on population) more roofs in Greater Auckland than there are in the South Island, so if solar was common, the weather in Auckland would still have the greatest impact on solar supply.
So this morning it seems Rio Tinto have walked away from the government negotiations and are going back to Meridian. I wish that made me hopeful (that the government wasn't a pushover; that the government wasn't going to make the asset sales an even larger wealth transfer to the wealthy), but I'm rather concerned that what it will mean is that Rio Tinto gets concessions from both Meridian AND the government.
The short version from the Transpower website indicates that the new very large project is a major upgrade of the North Island grid.
Channelling my partner a little (…electricity sector type) getting power out of Southland/Otago is the main problem but this is fairly easily resolved by an already identified project that Transpower have put some effort into over the last few years and even hold consented for I am lead to believe. This would upgrade transmission capacity northwards above Clyde/Roxburgh allowing increased flows into the Waitaki valley at a one off cost of $100-200M or so (no new towers just new lines). Once it has reached the Waitaki valley Manapouri power will mostly flow across the DC link into the Wellington region and further northwards or flow to the rest of the South Island accommodating growth in demand there over time. Increased losses will occur (compared to today) but they are not a show stopper and might increase by 20-30% or so. As total losses within Transpower’s system are around 5% of total consumption an increase to 6-7% is not the end of the world.
Not to rain on anyone's parade but would anybody seriously consider placing a major data centre in the South Island with the Alpine fault ready to rumble at any time?
It didn't seem to stop people building Silicon Valley in the Hayward Fault Zone
Cool (Unlimited and DiscoveryOne I mean), even if hippies do sometimes make my eyelid twitch a bit (it's all fine until anyone mentions leylines...).
On the mobility question, I was meaning mobility in the way we use it in Public Health, which is basically that people move house more often, rather than in relation to vehicle access. In general, people in more deprived areas move house more often due to poor security of tenure. For those who have stayed in Christchurch, I can easily imagine the mobility might have dropped (i.e. people might move less often) due to lack of availability of rentals, but I would also have thought that those who have moved cities might be more likely to belong to this group. However, the rising rolls at those schools might suggest this is not the case after all.
Note the roll changes: 230 to 241, and 146 to 155
In that case, I take it all back, and go back to being suspicious and cynical. Sigh.
Also, um, how did two schools end up being called "Unlimited" and "DiscoveryOne". They sound like off-shoots of Scientology or something. (Really sorry if I'm offending someone whose children go there, but they do sound like that, particularly when they're in the same sentence).
(This will tell you the kind of area I live in.)
I know it's not you saying it, but the school closures vs deprivation map doesn't make me as suspicious as it might. People in areas of higher deprivation are more mobile than people in wealthier neighbourhoods. They're also less likely to own property, and less likely to have job security. I would have though all of those things would make them more likely to decide that waiting for the city to rebuild was just too hard, and up sticks for elsewhere, meaning much greater roll losses in those areas than in areas where parents are tied to their houses by a mortgage.
'Course, I offer this from the distance of Wellington, so I could well be missing something.
Oops, I clearly just failed a pop culture test.
But, well, that would fit. Noone would want to hear it because it would be too dull. Apart from the flute story: According to my version, the flute story must be an invention.
I think you meant to type American Pie?