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Minister of Energy rejects gas lobby claims

27 March 2008 Media Statement

Minister of Energy rejects gas lobby claims

Energy Minister David Parker says the oil and gas industry claim that renewable electricity will be more expensive than the gas fired electricity future the gas industry prefers is wrong.

“In fact the steep rise in electricity prices that consumers have faced in the last decade has been caused mainly by the rise in gas and coal prices that have forced up the cost of fossil fuelled thermal electricity.”

“To suggest that NZ gas prices will buck that recent history, and the overseas trend of increasing oil and gas prices, is optimistic and wishful thinking from a lobby group whose interest lies in selling more gas.”

“It is also undeniable that current and announced new investments by electricity generators prove that they think our renewables are cheaper. They are currently building geothermal and wind power – putting their money on the line.”

“New Zealand has an abundance of renewables. We used to have 90% renewable generation in New Zealand. We can get back there by 2025, by building about 175 MW of renewable energy each year. This year alone we’re building around 300 MW. This shows the target is well within grasp.”

“Of course with renewables, once built, their fuel is free. Wind and geothermal steam don’t go up in price. The same can’t be said of gas.”

“The latest push by the gas lobby to increase gas usage and decrease renewables would also increase NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

The graph accompanying this release is from the New Zealand Energy Strategy. It shows an abundance of cost competitive renewables, using only current technology, is available.


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