[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

Wind lobby blowing hot air  

Credit:  OPINION: Wind lobby blowing hot air | Jason Krupp | Saturday October 26, 2013 | The National Business Review | www.nbr.co.nz ~~

It was disappointing to see the New Zealand Wind Energy Association fire a broadside at the government this week, claiming pro-fossil fuel policy settings are leaving our economy behind in a world increasingly dominated by renewables.

The opinion piece suggested we need to look to countries like Germany, which is on track to generate 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. It also claimed Australia was another global leader in the charge toward eco-friendly electricity alternatives such as wind, geothermal and hydro.

Furthermore, the association argued the government needs to stop subsidising fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, in the form of tax breaks, research and development activities and marketing.

It is just a pity this view only tells a fraction of the story, compares apples with oranges, and seen from a particular angle, looks to be a partisan attempt at self-promotion and scaremongering.

Let us balance out some of the facts. Germany’s target may be laudable but New Zealand is light years ahead in any case, with 75% of our electricity coming from renewable sources. Australia, by comparison, only generated about 13% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2010.

Furthermore, the subsidies the association cited in the article do not exist in the electricity sector in New Zealand, and nor do they need them.

The bulk of the generation that has been built over the last decade has been renewable, all of which was privately funded by private firms (or state-owned firms operating as private companies).

Yes, some of the investment has gone into gas-fired peaker plants, but these facilities are essential to our economy if we want achieve a security of supply because they make up for generation shortfalls that result when there is a lack of rain or wind.

During this year’s drought we would have faced electricity blackouts if the peaker and coal-fired plants hadn’t been there. Certainly wind generation cannot be relied upon enough to do this.

The article also ignores the fact that not a single piece of coal-fired kit has been developed in decades, and the one remaining plant, Huntly, is rapidly approaching the end of its lifespan.

The association also claims wind turbines have “none of the fossil fuel factors (associated with coal)”, ignoring, of course, that you need hardened steel to make them, and that relies on coal.

It is a given that we all want cleaner, cheaper electricity generation, but if you are going to make a case for it, your argument will be all the stronger for having all the facts on the table, not just the ones that suit you.

Jason Krupp is a research fellow at the New Zealand Initiative

Source:  OPINION: Wind lobby blowing hot air | Jason Krupp | Saturday October 26, 2013 | The National Business Review | www.nbr.co.nz

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter