Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Wind Energy Association Annual Conference Address

Embargoed until delivery: 9.30am, Thursday 25 May 2000, Wellington Convention Centre Speech Notes

Address to the New Zealand Wind Energy Association Annual Conference

Thank you for the opportunity to address the New Zealand Wind Energy Association’s annual Conference.

I notice that delegates will be getting more than their fair share of wisdom from politicians today. Marian Hobbs will be speaking later on Resource Management Act issues and climate change policy, while Jeanette Fitzsimons will be concluding your conference with a presentation on her hard won Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

I see a large number of familiar faces in front of me. Some of you I’ve met before – possibly at last year’s conference where I spoke representing the Labour Opposition.

I congratulate the Wind Energy Association on the constructive role that it has played in the last few years. As the public face of an emerging industry the Association has held several high profile events to showcase wind energy and liaised with key interests.

In New Zealand we have one wind turbine in Wellington, seven in Martinborough and forty-eight at the Tararua Wind Farm in Palmerston North. Recently I have been particularly impressed by the Tararua Wind Farm development. It produces enough energy to supply 25,000 homes, is popular in the community and spent 30% of its development costs within New Zealand. I was therefore pleased to acknowledge the efforts of TrustPower and CentralPower at EECA’s ‘Energywise Awards’ in March. There I presented Tararua Wind Farm with the inaugrual ‘New Renewable Energy’ Award.

Most of you will be aware that New Zealand has one of the best wind resources in the world. Yet recently only one resource consent has been applied for. The barriers to greater uptake of wind energy are many. They include structural issues to do with electricity reform, pricing and the Resource Management Act. As I have told the Wind Association, there are no magic solutions to these issues but there are a number of ways we can work, together, to address them.

One topic that I know is of great interest to you is the Electricity Inquiry. The Association made both written and oral submissions to the Inquiry – with emphasis on fixed or variable transmission charges. Fixed charges disadvantage embedded generation and wind energy projects are generally embedded. The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry explicitly refer to fixed charges, both for distribution companies and Transpower.

The submission also raised the issue of the threshold on lines companies owing electricity generation under the Electricity Industry Reform Act. This disadvantages new renewables.

I understand other submitters also raised similar issues and I am sure the Inquiry team will take these points on board.

The Inquiry held hearings around the country in late March/early April. It is now into its deliberation phase and will report to me by 12 June.

I am very keen for the Government to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

I hope that we can keep new legislation on this industry at a minimum. However, any necessary new legislation will be introduced later this year.

Wind Energy, and new renewables, must be seen in the context of climate change. The recent announcement from the Prime Minister to ratify the Kyoto accord by 2002 clearly demonstrates a political will to tackle this issue, which frankly has been missing until now. The Government is currently exploring the policy options, but the size of the challenge is significant and raises issues for every sector of the economy. Over the next 18 months the papers, the policies and the various actions will come rolling out. I am the coordinating Minister for this large body of work. It's exciting, it's hard and it's quite big.

I want the Wind Energy Association to weigh into the debate with a clear focus on solutions and the respective roles of government and the industry.

Most of you will have heard of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act that has just been passed. It establishes the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, EECA, as a stand-alone Crown entity. Even more importantly it creates a statutory requirement to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable energy in New Zealand. The main mechanism for doing so will be the preparation of a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy by 1 April 2001.

I want to pay a tribute to Jeanette Fitzsimons for her commitment to this piece of legislation. She had to clear many hurdles, anyone of which could have stopped her in her tracks. She hit the tape a couple of Wednesdays ago.

I am pleased that EECA will now have a statutory role within the state sector. Its two years of perpetual review under the previous government has come to a close. It can now proceed unhindered to make an important contribution to the climate change issues facing the new government.

The ultimate responsibility for preparing the strategy rests with me, and I am happy to assume that responsibility. The strategy will form a key part of this Government’s energy policy. For this reason it is crucial that you all take a full participatory role in helping its bottom-up development.

Also the taxation review will be an important forum in which to raise arguments in relation to a carbon charge. The Government has no plans to levy such a charge this term. We will instead take the decision to the electorate in 2002. But the review, covering all taxation, is in the work programme for this term.

So there it is, an electricity inquiry, a new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, new action on climate change including a ratification date and a taxation review.

It would seem that the interaction between the Wind Energy Association and the Government just got deeper, and if I stop now and the Chair says questions are allowed, then the interaction can continue forthwith.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities.

The publication, This Is Not My Home, considers the legal and ethical issues around residential care for older people when the care is provided without the person’s consent. More>>

 

Justice Reform: Andrew Little Interviewed By Corin Dann

“We’ve had thirty years of the auction of more penalties, more crime, more people in prison but it‘s not working, it’s not making us safe.” More>>

ALSO:

Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>

ALSO:

TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages