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Solar hot water lack a missed opportunity: Expert

News Release For immediate release

NZ solar hot water scarcity a missed opportunity says international energy expert

July 14 – New Zealand’s failure to generate more solar hot power, given the highly suitable local environment, has been described as “crazy” by a visiting international energy expert, Dr Eric Martinot.

Dr Martinot, lead author of REN 21 Renewables Global Status Report is the keynote speaker at the Conferenz 8th Annual New Zealand Energy Summit.

With Paris-based REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network) about to release the report’s 2006 update worldwide, Dr Martinot will give attendees in Wellington a sneak preview of some of the changes from the past year.

His presentation will cover policy, investment and progress for the countries, including New Zealand, which were covered in the initial report including:

- wind power installed most additional capacity of renewable energy sources worldwide last year
- global bio-diesel production increased by 85% from 2004 levels
- global investment in new renewable energy capacity has risen from U$30 billion in 2004 to U$38 billion in 2005
- the use of solar hot water is booming in China with 35-40 million households installed (10% of all households in the country)

“The fact that New Zealand uses electricity for most of its hot water is crazy when you could be using solar hot water instead. There are so many opportunities here,” Dr Martinot said.

“My aim is to educate and to inspire people to realize there’s a tremendous amount going on around the world in renewable energy,” he said.

Last year’s inaugural report found that renewable energy shows increasing momentum and significance, in terms of policy development, investment, and market growth. More than 48 countries worldwide had policies to promote renewable energy, including 14 developing countries..

Dr Martinot, a former manager of the renewable energy programme at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) at the World Bank who now lives in China, will update these details at the Conferenz summit.

The initial report (www.ren21.net) involved over 100 contributors and was sponsored by REN21 and produced by the Worldwatch Institute.

“We are incredibly fortunate to Eric here in New Zealand. To have him speak to us specifically on New Zealand’s place in renewable energy is a wonderful opportunity to see where New Zealand fits on the global stage,” Steve Scott, Managing Director of Conferenz, said.

Attendees at next week’s (July 17-19) Conferenz 8th Annual New Zealand Energy Summit in Wellington include central government, regulatory bodies, SOEs and Government agencies, transmission and lines companies, generators/retailers, key industry organizations, large energy users, infrastructure companies, industry consultants and analysts, local councils, power equipment suppliers.

For more information, and a detailed conference timetable, visit www.conferenz.co.nz

ENDS

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