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Kiwis keen for renewable energy

MEDIA RELEASE
30 May 2008

Kiwis keen for renewable energy

75% of New Zealanders support marine energy as a future electricity generation option, according to research released today by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Speaking at the Association of Wave and Tidal Energy Association's conference this week, EECA Energy Supply Manager Fiona Weightman said that there was overwhelming support for renewable energy in New Zealand.

"94% of people think renewable energy is something New Zealand needs to focus on for the future and renewable energy consistently scores highly when it comes to people's preferred form of generation.

Marine energy has strong appeal for people, with 75% of respondents saying they support it. New Zealand has world-class marine energy resources in its waves and tidal currents and a grant of $1.85m to help test marine technology has just been made from the EECA-administered Marine Energy Deployment Fund.

The research shows wind energy is currently the most favoured generation type, with 88% of respondents saying they support it.

There is a lot of support for wind energy now and, increasingly so, in the future - 91% said they felt that wind energy will have a positive impact for New Zealand in five years' time.

The majority of people are not deterred by visual impacts of wind farms, with 71% saying they'd support one even if they could see it from their home. Noise is a slightly bigger issue for people, though nearly half of respondents would still support a wind farm they could hear from home."

Traditional renewable energy generation technologies like geothermal and hydro have steady support, with 77% and 80% of respondents respectively stating that these sources are having a positive impact on New Zealand at the moment.

Other renewable energy sources also have strong support from New Zealanders. 94% of people are supportive of solar water heating. EECA's recently announced increase to solar water heating grants makes it easier for people to embrace this technology.

In the transport sector, biofuels are viewed as a good thing, with two thirds of respondents saying they will have a positive impact for New Zealand in five years' time. "

New Zealand currently generates around 65% of its electricity through renewable energy sources, but is aiming to increase this to 90% by 2025.

The research surveyed 1,000 people between January and March. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

For the research findings on public perceptions towards renewable energy, visit www.eeca.govt.nz/renewable-energy/.

ENDS

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