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The Solution is Still Waiting in the Wind

Press Release from New Zealand Wind Energy Association 28 March 2003

Electricity Shortage - The Solution is Still Waiting in the Wind

"The solution to the electricity shortage problem is still waiting for Government action to trigger implementation. This is the same solution as was offered by the New Zealand Wind Energy Association in September 2001" said Alistair Wilson, chairman of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, pointing to the NZWEA press release on 11 September 2001. (See below)

"We just need Government to stop mucking around - it is very easy, and it will cost the country very little compared to the other gas, oil and coal fired solutions offered by officials and the coal industry. The solution is still just sitting waiting for Government action. Granting credits is not working fast enough. We need action NOW"

"Implement a 2% renewable energy target scheme - as has been very successful in Australia - and let the markets provide new renewable energy generation required to meet the constant demand growth. (The only problem is that now it may need to be 3% to allow us to catch up!)

Mr Wilson confirmed that all the mandated target research papers and cost assessments are on the NZWEA website (not to mention the huge amount of data on the scheme available on Australian government web sites. NZWEA paid for the NZ research and offered it to officials for implementation.

BUT to no avail. Please start now Mr Hodgson.


Electricity Shortage Review Welcome - But The Answers Are Clear!

Press Release by New Zealand Wind Energy Association at 11 Sep 2001 07:20

"The electricity shortage review is welcome, BUT it will be a dismal failure if the terms of reference do not include an assessment of the benefits of more renewable energy, such as wind, biomass, solar electricity and solar water heating" said Mr Alistair Wilson, Chairman of the New Zealand Wind Association.

He was commenting on Energy Minister, Pete Hodgson's announcement that a review would be undertaken of the way the country's electricity system had functioned over the winter.

"Government policies supporting a more diversified renewables portfolio would make the electricity generation system in New Zealand more sustainable. Clearly less reliance on hydro would have had a significant beneficial impact on wholesale electricity prices over the last three months" said Mr Wilson.

Renewable energy industry groups in New Zealand group have been calling on the Government to carry out a study which they claim would prove that more wind, biomass and solar energy would offer a permanent solution to the regular hydro electricity shortage crises. Without Government statements of support for renewable energy, the power industry will race to install more gas fired generators, plunging the country deeper into the climate change abyss.

More than 50MW of wind energy projects have resource consents - but they will not go ahead until mechanisms to force gas fired generators to pay for their environmental damage, or other support mechanisms for renewables are announced by Government.

"With the stroke of his pen, the Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson, can provide the country with the political leadership to get us out of the perpetual dry-lakes syndrome" said Mr Wilson. "He has to announce that the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Strategy, due for release later this month, will include significant support for increased renewable energy use."

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Strategy, combined with the Government's commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, should provide industry with a measure of Government's commitment to moving the country toward a more sustainable energy future.

"A mandated renewable energy target as in Australia would have a huge beneficial impact with wind, bioenergy, solar electricity and solar water heating providing the equivalent of all new growth in electricity demand for the future." said Mr Wilson. "And because the target is only 2% of every power company's total sales the impact on the average price of electricity to customers would be tiny."


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