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A breath of fresh air for a windy future

Energy Efficiency Act - a breath of fresh air for a windy future

Press Release from the New Zealand Wind Energy Association

"A breath of fresh air is blowing good vibes towards the new renewable energy industry in New Zealand" said Mr Paul van Lieshout, chairperson of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA). "This week has seen the announcement of a timetable for New Zealand to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by 2002 and the passing of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. These events are important foundations for a sustainable energy future, but we are impatient to see it result in more green power projects. NZWEA's conference on 25 May in Wellington will address these issues."

"NZWEA congratulates Green Party co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons for her years of dedication and commitment in promoting the energy efficiency Act. It is a rare occurrence for a Private Members Bill to be passed in our Parliament, and even rarer for one to be passed with support of more than 90% of our MPs.

"However, support for renewable energy in New Zealand has a long way to go to reach the dizzy heights enacted in the recent German Renewable Energy Law The Germans aim to double the share of renewable source electricity over the next decade. The law guarantees fixed tariffs for feeding green power into the grid, allowing new renewable energy projects to succeed economically.

"An earlier renewable energy support law helped Germany's wind industry become a world leader. In the last nine years, the wind power industry has created 20,000 new jobs in Germany. It is predicted that this new law will trigger additional jobs from the wind energy industry and also a boom of new jobs from the solar PV industry.

"Wind energy is the fastest growing power generation source in the world and New Zealand has one of the best wind energy resources. But wind energy developments are still struggling in an environment where deregulation has pushed wholesale electricity prices to artificially low levels and there are no government support mechanisms.

"Some exciting New Zealand wind energy developments are just around the corner. Vortec Energy, which has a small prototype turbine near Hamilton, is now installing its first commercial 1 MW turbine in Portugal, and a new wind turbine manufacturing venture is about to be launched in Christchurch" said Mr van Lieshout.

ENDS

For more information contact: Paul van Lieshout 021 519 085 Or Ian Shearer, NZ Wind Energy Association, 04 586 2003, 025 306 004


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