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Greenpeace welcomes report - wind energy potential

Greenpeace welcomes new report - huge wind energy potential

Auckland: Monday, 16 May 2005: As Greenpeace made its submission to the Environment Court today in support of the Awhitu wind farm proposed at Waiuku, it also welcomed a report released today by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority demonstrating the huge wind energy resource waiting to be used in New Zealand.

"This report should put an end to the concerted public relations campaign by the likes of the coal industry that wind could only play a small role in our electricity system. New Zealand has been described as the 'Saudi Arabia of wind' and we must now move forward to fulfil this potential," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson.

"With today's technology, 35% of our electricity capacity could come from wind within ten years. Greenpeace considers this could be even higher with technological advances" she said.

"Wind energy has a huge role to play in our energy future and in combating climate change. It is already the fastest growing energy sector in the world. New Zealand must encourage and support wind farm developments as they are proposed."

Greenpeace has joined the appeals made by Genesis and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, on a decision by Franklin District Council to turn down a wind farm application by Genesis in Waiuku.

Many groups have also joined the appeals in support of the wind farm including Auckland Regional Council, Mighty River Power, The New Zealand Wind Energy Association and the Environmental Defence Society.

Franklin District Council has now pulled out of the appeal process, despite being the consent authority who made the decision originally, saying that "the Council resolved not to oppose granting of the resource consent".

"Greenpeace joined the appeal as we are very concerned about climate change - the biggest environmental threat our planet faces. Wind and other forms of renewable energy are vital in addressing climate change. We consider this to be a precedent-setting case which could affect future windfarm developments in New Zealand, particularly in coastal areas."

Greenpeace, through its lawyer Duncan Currie, is due to make its submission to the Environment Court today.

More information on how people can find out about wind energy developments and how to support wind farm proposals in their local area is available at: www.Yes2Wind.co.nz

ENDS

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