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Govt to help fund Taupo energy technology centre

Govt to help fund Taupo energy technology centre

Government funding has been approved, subject to conditions, to help the establishment of the New Zealand Clean Energy Centre in Taupo.

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Government funding has been approved, subject to conditions, to help the establishment of the New Zealand Clean Energy Centre in Taupo, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard and Taupo MP Mark Burton announced today.

"The New Zealand Clean Energy Centre will be a national centre for the commercialisation and application of clean energy research and technology, with the aim of increasing the direct use of clean geothermal and bio-energy resources in new and existing businesses," Trevor Mallard said.

"I'm pleased the government has been able to support this Major Regional Initiative which is a joint project between Lake Taupo Development Company, the region's economic development agency, the local council and industry groups.

"The Clean Energy Centre aims to focus on innovation, business development and incubation of energy-related businesses and provide technical assistance to increase the uptake of renewable energy opportunities in the region and nationally. The government will provide $2 million to the initiative on condition that the centre secures $2 million in funding from the energy industry by the end of this year," Trevor Mallard said.

Mark Burton said the proposal made use of the region's natural resources and existing expertise in clean energy technology.

"This will help the Taupo economy to further diversify beyond forestry, farming, and tourism, and the centre also aims to add value to existing industries.

"There are significant geothermal resources in the Taupo region. There is also good geothermal and biomass capability that includes energy companies, energy users, science and research capability, and technological consultancies.

"Aquaculture, floriculture, greenhouses, agricultural drying, bathing, space heating, and tourism businesses are already using geothermal and bio-energy sources. However, there is significant opportunity for more to do so," Mark Burton said.

The government funding, from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Regional Partnership Programme, will be provided in three stages over three years to help establish governance arrangements for the centre, construct a building, and implement commercialisation programmes.


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