Friday, 22 April 2011

Waitati Energy Project

By Scott Willis

New Zealand Energy Strategy
The new New Zealand Energy Strategy, accidentally released by a
government official should really be called "The Dig for Victory
Economic Policy". While the non-renewable energy industry globally is
suffering badly (in economic terms) in the world recession, and with
the strong economic returns being demonstrated internationally by
clean technology, is the new NZ Energy Strategy what we need?
Dr Eric Martinot, an international energy expert who visited NZ
recently, didn't even bother talking to government officials.
Virtually every other country in the world is desperately seeking ways
to develop renewable generation but we seem to be mired in a 19th
century optimism of salvation via fossil fuels. However, it's a
question of basic economics – with known upfront costs and very low
ongoing costs (potentially forever) renewable generation is the path
to energy security and economic sustainability.
Why gamble on finite resources in an incredibly unstable market? So,
I'm disappointed that this government hasn't realised the opportunity,
or taken on board the WEP submission and many other submissions made
last year, to develop a path to build energy resilience for New
Zealand. Nevertheless, locally things are much more positive.

Renewable Generation
Alongside new offers of community support (thank you!) there's further
local energy action – LED lighting, energy monitoring tools – things
that the passionate individuals involved intend disseminating once
BRCT is supporting the development of a comprehensive engagement
process and materials, and discussion with the DCC is underway, with
the goal of finding ways in which the city could facilitate a
community owned wind cluster at no cost to ratepayers.
The Powerhouse Wind team continue their fine-tuning of the Thinair
turbine at Hagen and Sabina's place and have a special offer (once
they go commercial) for Blueskin residents wanting to buy their
household scale turbine.
On April 21 Chris Freear of Our Wind Limited delivered a 10 metre
tower and wind testing equipment for the next stage in precise wind
testing at Blueskin Bay.

Dr James Hansen visits Dunedin
Dr. James Hansen is the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for
Space Studies in New York. The world leading climate scientist gave
evidence to the US congress in 1988, and has been developing solutions
to climate change: solutions that stimulate the economy, phase out
fossil fuel addiction, and stabilise the climate. His book "Storms of
my Grandchildren" is a must-read and Dr Hansen will present a public
lecture on "Human-Made Climate Change: A Scientific, Moral and Legal
Issue" on Wednesday, 18 May at 5:30 pm in the St. David Lecture
Theatre at the University of Otago.

Contact me at: 03 4822048 or

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