11 October 2007 – New Zealand is telling its state-owned electricity generators not to build any thermal power plants – which burn fossil fuels – over the next 10 years and is also considering applying the ban to privately owned power companies.
The ban is part of the Government’s energy strategy aimed at limiting the amount of fuel it has to import, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Minister David Parker says the final strategy is largely unchanged from the draft paper the Government put out for consultation.
It includes a range of initiatives aimed at making New Zealand 90 per cent secure in its energy supplies by promoting the use of renewable power sources, mainly by using wind and geothermal power. The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says there should be no need for any new fossil-fuel electricity generation to be built in the next 10 years.
She says it is preferable for all new electricity generation to be renewable. In addition, she says investment in energy efficiency measures should also occur where it is cheaper than the long-term costs of building extra generation capacity.