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Energy supply sector enters new era

Energy supply sector enters new era

Energy supply sector enters new era The setting of a renewable energy target is the beginning of a new era for energy supply in New Zealand, says Mike Underhill, Chairman of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson today announced the Government's target of an additional 30 Petajoules (PJ) of consumer energy from renewable sources by 2012.

"The target is very timely - the additional 30 PJ of renewable energy is estimated to provide five million tonnes of CO2 emissions reductions in the first Kyoto commitment period.

"The 30 PJ target is equivalent to 30 times the total energy used by Nelson in one year. This won't be achieved by a few large projects.

"Over the next ten years we will see an assortment of wind, hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass projects throughout New Zealand. The projects will be as diverse as the Hau Nui wind farm extension in the Wairarapa, through to the installation of solar water heaters in houses. Another exciting area for growth is distributed generation, small-scale electric generators that are close to the source of demand, in outlying areas of New Zealand.

"In addition to supplying the energy needs of the wider community, EECA will also look at the energy requirements of industrial sites. Projects such as the Heatpac plant at the Winstone Pulp International sawmill at Tangiwai (whose designer and manufacturer Easteel Industries recently won an EnergyWise Award) make a very good business case for direct use of renewable energy. The Heatpac plant uses woodwaste, which previously went to a landfill, to generate energy in the form of heat for the plant's industrial processes. This is the sort of innovation that we can foster by encouraging the development of renewable energy."

Mr Underhill said EECA would be concentrating on developing the emerging renewable energy sector so it can reach the 30 PJ target. "We will be working alongside specific renewable energy industries to help them increase their share of the energy generation market.

"We are already seeing advances in technology which make renewable energy much more viable as a source of consumer energy and the Projects Fund, which is part of the Climate Change package, will make more of these advances a reality," Mr Underhill said.

EECA is charged with implementing the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and is working to change the way New Zealanders think about and use energy by promoting and supporting the uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.

Copies of the Renewable Energy Target document together with the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy are available at www.eeca.govt.nz/renewables < http://www.eeca.govt.nz/renewables >


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