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Switch on to Renewable Energy

Switch on to Renewable Energy

As the energy crisis deepens, Greenpeace today released its vision for a renewable energy future for New Zealand, and a paper outlining how wind and renewable energy can supply all our electricity needs.

“New Zealand is at a crossroads - a long term energy strategy is urgently needed for New Zealand which takes us to 100% renewable energy supply, including wind and solar,” said climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson.

“The Government should be making choices that will lead to generating clean renewable energy. Panic decisions in response to the energy crisis must not entrench old fossil fuels based industries, which incur further environmental damage,” continued Atkinson.

Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The New Zealand Government has signed the Kyoto protocol so we could help lead the world in greenhouse gas reduction and put the brakes on climate change.

“The electricity market at the moment makes it very difficult for these new more environmentally friendly industries to compete. It is the Government’s role to put in place mechanisms, targets and incentives to allow a speedy transition to a 100% renewable energy,” said Atkinson.

“Few, if any other energy sources in New Zealand can offer such a secure, efficient and environmentally friendly supply as wind. New Zealand has one of the best and most under utilised wind resources in the world and we have enough potential wind energy to produce three times our present power generation each year.”

New Zealand has three sites with large wind turbines (Manawatu, Wairarapa and Wellington). The first entirely New Zealand made and designed large wind turbine (over 3kW), will be installed by Windflow tomorrow on Banks Peninsula.

But there are still some obstacles in the way for wind.

Previous Governments assisted many of the original big power stations we currently rely on with enormous subsidies and incentives. But for wind it’s a different story. Today, new wind power initiatives have large start-up costs that make it hard to compete against the advantages that other energy projects already have.

“The Government needs to take big steps to quickly bring wind projects into the energy mix and establish an energy strategy that will lead New Zealand to a clean, green renewable energy future,” concluded Atkinson.

For further information contact: Communications Officer, Dean Baigent-Mercer 021 790 817, Climate Change Campaigner Vanessa Atkinson on 021 565 165

The following documents are available at www.greenpeace.org.nz :

Pathway to a renewable energy future: the need for a New Zealand energy strategy

Keeping the Green Lights On: Powering New Zealand’s sustainable energy future with wind, a summary paper of an upcoming report, prepared for Greenpeace by Dwayne Pretli, AA Environmental.

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