Waikato investors in wind-turbine projects say they are waiting on a proposed carbon credit scheme to make renewable energy affordable in the region.
Wel Network chief executive Kevin Palmer said without carbon credits, the company’s $200 million 84MW wind farm at Te Uku, near Raglan, was “less likely to go ahead”.
Mr Palmer said the Government’s national energy strategy, which is open for public consultation until Friday, would determine the short-term future of wind energy in the Waikato.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, carbon credits are awarded to countries that successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Each credit is equivalent to a tonne of carbon dioxide emission reduced and has a dollar value, which has not been set.
Mr Palmer said the Government’s indecisiveness had created “a climate of uncertainty” for investors, he said.
“The Government has not been specific about what parts of industry will benefit from the energy strategy. I actively encourage a decision fairly quickly.”
New Zealand Wind Energy Association chief executive Fraser Clark said New Zealand was behind other developed countries on renewable strategies.
Just two per cent of the nation’s electricity is generated from wind energy, compared with a global average of 25 per cent.
By Kelly Gregor
26 March 2007
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