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Renewable Energy Left Out in the Cold?

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Renewable Energy Left Out in the Cold?

United Future's energy spokesperson, Gordon Copeland MP, today questioned what is happening to the government's long-heralded commitment to a renewable energy future for New Zealand.

"The energy statistics for the June 2006 quarter raise very real questions in that regard," said Mr Copeland.

"In the June 2006 quarter, electricity generation reached its highest level ever for a June quarter. At the same time, however, hydro and wind generation fell to just 55% of total generation, the lowest proportion ever recorded for a June year.

"Strikingly, given the imminent rundown of the Maui gas field, gas production used for electricity generation recorded its first increase since June 2002.

"The government gives lip service to renewable energy but the fact is that no new hydro electricity scheme on the conservation estate (one third of New Zealand's land area plus all of its rivers and the great majority of its lakes) has been approved since the current Conservation Act was passed in 1987.

"The story on wind farms is much better than that but the generators are telling me that new activities in that regard are also currently stalled, pending government decisions on the continuation of carbon credits.

"In this context it must not be overlooked either that hydro electricity still beats any other energy source when it comes to cost.

"Accordingly, the shrinking proportion of hydro generation versus gas and coal fired generation, also comes at huge cost to energy consumers be they residential or commercial," said Mr Copeland.


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