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Energy Strategies Improved, But Much More Needed

Press Release: Sustainable Energy Forum (SEF)

Energy Strategies Improved, But Much More Needed

The Sustainable Energy Forum (SEF) today welcomed aspects of the Government's final New Zealand Energy Strategy (NZES) and New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS), but said that the strategies still weren't strong enough to meet the twin challenges of climate change and Peak Oil.

"Both the NZES and the NZEECS have been improved and made more ambitious since the draft versions were released," said Tim Jones, Convenor of the Sustainable Energy Forum. "Many of the points made by the Sustainable Energy Forum and related groups have been taken into account."

"SEF is pleased to see the 90% renewables target for electricity generation - although we think an even higher percentage could be achieved - and the plan to increase the use of wood for domestic heating. We are also pleased to see a strong emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, although the reductions take longer to kick in than we would like."

"But the strategies still don't go far enough. New Zealand and the world are facing a carbon-constrained future, and it's not only climate change we have to worry about. As the recently-released International Energy Agency Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2007 makes clear, we face a near future in which oil supplies are likely to tighten further and oil prices to rise significantly. We may be near the peak of world oil production, and supplies are going to get much tighter from then on."

"SEF is disappointed that the NZES dismisses this important issue in a few paragraphs. Although climate change is ultimately a greater problem, New Zealand is very vulnerable to constrained oil supplies because almost all of our transport energy comes from oil. The NZES and NZEECS assume that the oil will keep flowing as it has in the past, and that's a dangerous assumption to make," Tim Jones concluded.

Sustainable Energy Forum, www.sef.org.nz

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