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NZers know the answer is blowing in the wind

1 July 2004

NZers know the answer is blowing in the wind

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says a study released today that shows New Zealanders "overwhelmingly" support wind power is great news for the country's energy future and environment.

The survey commissioned by the Electricity Efficiency and Conservation Authority found 82 per cent of New Zealanders either approve or strongly approve of wind power as a solution for New Zealand's energy needs, compared with only 24 per cent for coal.

"The Green Party congratulates New Zealanders for recognising where the future lies," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party's Energy Spokesperson.

"This survey shows that understanding of the climate change risk from coal is quite widespread. It also clearly rebuts the false allegation that most people think wind farms are unsightly, noisy or intrusive, a perception fostered by the fossil fuel industry.

"Only 18 per cent would oppose a wind farm in their own area, which is much lower than would oppose a large, polluting coal-fired plant, let alone a nuclear power station.

"New Zealand has some of the best wind sites in the world. The wind is more constant and faster than in Europe, and yet the sector is relatively underdeveloped here.

"Wind power is fast to design, consent and build and comes in relatively small and flexible installations, so it can be sited close to demand, allowing changing needs to be quickly responded to and reducing the need for large unsightly transmissions lines.

"Wind also gives us much greater energy security in dry winters, because hydro lakes can be allowed to fill up when the wind is blowing and drawn down when it is not," said Ms Fitzsimons.


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