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


Genesis Congratulated For Cancelling Coal Stations

3 March 2005

Greens congratulate Genesis on cancelling coal stations

Genesis' sensible and sane decision today to cancel its plans for two coal-fired power stations in the Waikato is a breath of fresh air in the energy debate, says Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"This cancellation of two coal-fired stations at Huntly is an opportunity for the electricity companies to start applying some common sense to the issue of generation and demand management," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Greens' Energy Spokesperson.

"It is significant that Genesis has also admitted today that the technology to capture and store CO2 is not at a stage where it can be applied to large-scale commercial plants. Clearly 'clean coal', which Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton recently claimed in Parliament was the way ahead, is a marketing myth.

"The choice facing New Zealand is between dirty power stations and big transmission lines or smarter use of clean renewables. I hope Genesis' move today means the industry is now seriously considering the latter option. Frankly, it should be a no-brainer for an innovation economy and a clean, green country to choose the path of renewables and greater energy efficiency.

"With Solid Energy saying coal reserves in Waikato are less than previously thought, it is clear that the only option for coal power now is stations at the bottom of the South Island or on the West Coast. However, the coal found there is mostly brown coal, which produces the most local air pollution when burnt because of its high sulphur content. Sulphur can be scrubbed out of the gas emissions, but that makes the resulting electricity more expensive.

"This newly revealed shortfall in the Waikato reserves also raises the question of where the coal for the controversial Marsden B station near Whangarei is supposed to come from.

"But a major concern with a strategy based on South Island brown coal is that massive transmission lines, such as those that currently threaten the Waikato, would have to be strung out along the length of the whole country. Quite apart from the environmental issues of such an effort, it all adds to the cost and puts the lie to the claims that coal is the cheapest option.

"This is all before we even consider climate change. Coal produces more climate-changing CO2 per unit of energy than any other fossil fuel, which is crazy in a climate-constrained world. Removing CO2 is difficult and prohibitively expensive, even more so than for sulphur. Recent estimates are that scrubbing CO2 makes coal much more expensive than wind and solar.

"New Zealand needs to focus on using energy more smartly, not just producing more at any cost. The millions of dollars for proposed new coal plants need to be spent on helping improve energy efficiency. Specifically I call on Genesis and the other 'powercos' to now start investing in energy efficiency in Auckland," said Ms Fitzsimons.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election