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Diversification Opportunities Blowing In The Wind

Thursday 9 May 2002

Farmers Diversification Opportunities Are Blowing In The Wind

"Federated Farmers should pull its head out of the sand and wave it in the air! Failure to support renewable energy diversification options for farmers who have identified new business opportunities from the Government's recent climate change policy measures is disappointing", said Ian Shearer, manager of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, commenting on the news that Federated Farmers was upset at the Government's Kyoto stance.

Renewable energy opportunities, particularly wind and bioenergy, are there for the taking, and farmers with higher exposed slopes will be in the best position to gain a new and very healthy revenue stream from their less productive farm areas. Only a very small amount of farm land is lost to normal farming activities when wind turbines are installed.

However the Wind Energy Association is disappointed that the Government's proposals to support new renewable energy projects are being delayed too long. Support for new wind farms is included in the "projects" section of the climate change proposals. But this support may not take effect for several years yet.

"I predict it will be proved that the support was too little and too late. If we had introduced a programme after last winter's hydro crisis a new wind farm could have been installed rapidly - and big enough to stop the inevitable hydro-electricity water shortage over the next three months" concluded Mr Shearer.


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