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Engineers Supportive of Draft Energy Strategy

11 December 2006
(No Embargo)

Engineers Supportive of Draft National Energy Strategy

The Chief Executive of Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ), Dr Andrew Cleland says the draft National Energy Strategy released today mirrors many of the recommendations in IPENZ’s Engineering a National Energy Strategy, released in June this year.

“It is pleasing to see that the engineering profession and Government are in broad agreement on how to resolve energy issues.

It is vital that first attention be given to demand minimisation and efficiency improvements. We would have liked to see more attention to good urban design that minimises the need for people to use energy at all, for example, ensuring that houses are correctly oriented to the sun.”

Dr Cleland says the engineering profession welcomes any actions seeking efficiency gains where New Zealanders will benefit economically and environmentally provided the measures target minimum life-cycle costs for consumers.

“Most of the big gains can be made without economic penalty, although improving the efficiency of the existing building stock does present a challenge –requiring upgrades prior to sale was one suggestion we made in June.

If we do have a concern, it is that in seeking to provide international leadership by lowering the carbon intensity we do not inadvertently impose unreasonable economic penalties on ourselves. Whilst we want to demonstrate leadership, early commitment to marginally economic renewable technologies could lead to capital stranding if much better renewable technologies emerge soon after we have committed our capital.”

Dr Cleland says IPENZ is pleased to see that a number of matters such as the need to address the optimum balance between road, rail and shipping to freight transport and mandatory point of sales information, which we highlighted in June as needing attention have been picked up.

“IPENZ is also pleased to see the recognition of the potential of marine technologies, the commitment to support research into those technologies suited to New Zealand, and a commitment towards improving the sustainability of our electricity supply system.”

ENDS

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