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New Zealand is the Saudi Arabia of Wind

“New Zealand is the Saudi Arabia of Wind”

Auckland, Wednesday 2 July 2003: Greenpeace today launched a groundbreaking new report Winds of Change11 The Greenpeace report, Winds of Change: Exploring New Zealand’s phenomenal wind resource and options to drive renewable energy development is available at www.greenpeace.org.nz on how our electricity needs could be met by harnessing the power of wind.

“New Zealand is the Saudi Arabia of wind and has one of the best wind energy resources in the world. We have enough potential wind energy to produce three times our present power generation each year,” said Greenpeace climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson.

“The new report Winds of Change underlines the importance of a strong long term energy strategy to help protect the environment from dangerous climate change and secure a sustainable energy supply”.

“Wind energy is the fastest growing energy sector in the world and New Zealand is being left behind despite having one of the best wind energy resources on the planet. Total global wind energy capacity has reached 32,000MW, which is over four hundred times larger than New Zealand’s installed wind energy capacity,” continued Ms Atkinson.

“18% of Denmark’s electricity comes from wind and in Germany, 45,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the wind industry. It is ludicrous that New Zealand gets only about 0.5% of its electricity from wind.”

“If we look to the success stories of Denmark, Spain, the US and the UK, major renewable energy development only occurred when the Government had strong national policies and regional plans, supporting mechanisms such as mandatory renewable targets and financial incentives.”

“The New Zealand Government must do the same here and develop a long term energy strategy so the country can be running on electricity from 100% renewable sources by 2020. Initiatives such as mandatory renewable energy targets and tradeable renewable energy schemes, combined with changes to the electricity market and financial incentives, are urgently needed to make a renewable energy future a reality for New Zealand,” concluded Ms Atkinson.

Traditional energy sources such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Global warming causes glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. Coal produces more global warming carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel.

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

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