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Hydro Storage Crisis Must Result In Future Action

Hydro Storage Crisis Must Result In Action For The Future

"It is essential that the Minister of Energy commits Government to actions that will stop us being so dependant on hydo storage" said Mr Alistair Wilson, chairman of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

"The renewable energy industry supports the Minister's call for 10% energy savings now to get us through the current crisis, BUT he must not, at the end of this crisis, leave us without a solution for the next time" Mr Wilson said.

It is clear to many commentators that the electricity market focus on short term pricing issues does not address electricity supply security requirements. An increase in the diversity of renewable energy sources would provide a huge improvement in the security situation for New Zealand. Wind power could be providing substantial hydro-storage benefits during periods of drought.

The renewable energy industry is moving rapidly to build wide support for effective future-proofing solutions" said Mr Wilson. "The Wind Energy Association is joining other renewable energy industry groups to establish an industry wide body to promote more renewable energy solutions. Industry groups with interests in solar water heating, solar electricity (photovoltaics), bioenergy and other forms of renewable energy are considering ways in which they can work effectively together."

"The Minister needs to make a commitment to significant support mechanisms that will result in the use of more renewable energy, and we need that commitment now to ensure we do not enter a shortage again next year" said Mr Wilson.

"Several wind farms already have planning permission, and they could be built very rapidly if a support commitment, such as Australia's mandated target to increase new renewable energy sources by 2%, was provided."

"The same mechanism would allow the solar water heating industry to provide a significant reduction in electric hot water demand. Other appropriate mechanisms to support solar water heating would be interest free loans" he said.

"The recent G8 meeting of world leaders confirmed that wider use of renewable energy was essential. New Zealand's climate change action commitments also need strong Government leadership decisions now" said Mr Wilson.

ENDS

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