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Waitakere City proposes 21st century solution

Waitakere City proposes modern alternatives to huge power line

Waitakere City Council has written to the Electricity Commission opposing Transpower’s proposed new 400kv power line and saying that there are better ways to secure Auckland region’s electricity for the future.

“Looking at Transpower’s proposal you could easily believe that technology and science came to a standstill in about 1900,” says Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of Waitakere City Council’s City Development Committee, which agreed to send the submission to the Electricity Commission.

Transpower has proposed the new power line from Whakamaru to Otahuhu – on huge pylons – as a way to guarantee the power supply to Auckland and Northland in the future. This has been opposed by the Electricity Commission itself and by other groups, including Waikato rural communities.

“We support the concerns expressed by the people of the Waikato. The Auckland region needs to take more responsibility for meeting its own energy needs through more efficient use of energy and using sustainable energy generation alternatives, says Cr Hulse.

“Today, we can reduce the energy needs of buildings to a very significant extent so they consume far less energy than in the past. Meanwhile, modern technology has given us tiny but efficient wind-turbines and solar technology that in combination, can generate very significant amounts of electricity,” she says.

“A combination of energy savings and local, solar and wind, power generation, can go a long way towards reducing future demand. This is not ‘green politics’; this is today’s scientific reality and now is the time and this is the opportunity, to take advantage of it,” says Councillor Hulse.

Councillor Hulse says the council will be explaining its position to other councils in the region and seek co-operation on this important issue.

“Security of power supply is crucial for everyone in the Auckland region and especially for business. Local energy savings and energy generation has the potential to not only guarantee supply – but also resilience – in the long term. Resilience can be looked at various ways. It is much harder to knock out total energy supply in a disaster, for example. There is also resilience against future cost increases associated with building major infrastructure, or with oil prices,” says Councillor Hulse.

“Our council wants to work closely with businesses in Waitakere to meet their future needs in a variety of ways and this is one of the key areas on which we can work together,” she says.

“We oppose Transpower’s proposal because it is a 19th century answer when we have more sustainable 21st century alternatives available,” says Councillor Hulse.

Ends

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