24 March 2010

Smart grid critical infrastructure in modern NZ – Environment Commissioner

"A smart electricity grid is just as important as modern infrastructure like roads and broadband in 21st Century New Zealand", Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, told MPs today.

Dr Wright appeared in front of the Finance and Expenditure Committee to talk about her submission on the Electricity Industry Bill. She urged MPs to ensure the legislation provided for the development of a smart grid.

"A smart grid uses digital technology to upgrade the current system, allowing for much finer control of our electricity supply.

"The smarter use of electricity creates both environmental and consumer benefits for New Zealand. Not only would we need to build fewer power plants and emit less carbon dioxide, but smarter electricity use would also give consumers more control over their bills.

"Security of supply would also be greatly enhanced through a smart grid.

Government leadership is needed to resolve industry stand-offs, establish key standards and bring certainty.
"I urge the committee to adopt my recommendation and require the new Electricity Authority to provide for the development of a smart grid", said Dr Wright."