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Energy = Product = Wealth

Media release from the Gas Association

26 September 2005

Energy = Product = Wealth

“The Gas Association fully endorses the call for a comprehensive energy policy as outlined in report being released this morning by a consortium of 50 businesses,” Trevor Goodwin, chair of the Gas Association said.

“The Gas Association believes the incoming government, whatever its shape, must have a strong focus on energy as a key foundation of the economy. A simple equation, energy equals product, which in turn equals wealth, continues to be a truism,” he said.

“We are keen to see policies that recognise the essential nature of energy to the future wellbeing of the country. It’s not just about making sure that homes are warm and healthy which is, of course, incredibly important.

“Energy policy is about ensuring we have products to trade and commerce to transact.

“Quite literally, energy is the fundamental driver of economic growth and wealth creation – both of which lead to making New Zealand a better place to live,” he said.

The Gas Association is heartened by a series of articles contributed by energy spokespeople to its journal, the National Gas Review.

“We recognise the Greens’ policies focus on renewables and conservation, but are also pleased that they support the direct use of natural gas as the most efficient use of the resource,” he said.

All mainstream parties support the view that security of energy supply is a basic premise.

Then, ACT, National, NZ First and United Future all acknowledge that there are barriers that currently stand in the way of increased investment in electricity generation and oil and gas exploration.

The Labour Party has also indicated its commitment to sustainable energy, based on renewables, conservation, distributed generation and further exploration.

“So, what more does the gas sector specifically want from a new government,” Mr Goodwin asked?

“We believe natural gas, like all energy resources, is a strategic asset and needs to be considered as such. Political parties need to ensure that each resource is used to its best advantage.

“We shouldn’t necessarily be compartmentalising our thinking only into traditional sectors of electricity generation, transportation fuels, and commercial and domestic use of fuels.

“Co-generation – where natural gas is used to generate both electricity and hot water – could become a way of providing both to new multi-story buildings or even whole subdivisions. We’re exporting the technology to the UK for use in thousands of homes, but it is largely unused in New Zealand beyond industry applications.

“Then, the growing emissions issue will mean we’ll probably live to regret the virtual demise of CNG as an alternative fuel, and lack of incentive to use LPG, especially in our bus fleets.

“So, the message to the new government is that it must develop policies that can ensure we have all the prerequisites of sustainability, reducing emissions, security of supply, efficiency and even-handed legislation to ensure that New Zealand has a growing and thriving economy,” Trevor Goodwin concluded.

ENDS

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