General and Australia / New Zealand
Major New Zealand power company Genesis Energy is now using the power of gaming to cut through the clutter in an increasingly dispersed advertising market. The weapon is its sophisticated online educational game ElectroCity, which has produced an immediate payback after 18 months of creative, design and technical work........"For example, investing in hydro has constraints - suitable locations are limited, output is tied into water levels and dams are expensive to build. Thermal generation is cheaper but has ongoing fuel costs and a greater environmental impact. Wind generation produces only modest amounts of electricity, unless the wind farms are huge."
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett is yet to approve Stockyard Hill Wind Farm under the government's environment laws.
The project went to the government in July, after it was found likely to have significant environmental impacts.
The project's three planning applications were put on public show last week.
"We are very bullish on the nuclear market," said Lorraine Bolsinger, a corporate vice-president at General Electric.
"Any debate on climate change and the need for zero emissions has got to include nuclear in the mix of fuel diversity," she said in Melbourne. The variability of renewable energy sources like wind and solar means they can't contribute more than 10 or 15 per cent of the total.
A nationwide electricity savings drive will not reduce demand enough to significantly delay the need for new power generation, Trustpower says.
Spokesman Graeme Purches said at the height of the 2001 power crisis, when the Government called on people to cut electricity consumption, the 10% savings target was barely managed.
That was achieved with the aid of big power consumers, such as the Comalco aluminium smelter, significantly cutting production.
“Businesses couldn’t sustain such production cuts like that over an extended period and remain in business,” he said.
Mr Purches was responding to a call from anti-wind farm lobby group Rational Energy Debate to make conservation of energy the priority, allowing time for new technologies to develop and more serious debate.
The group has called for all wind farm developments to be postponed until the pros and cons of wind power generation can be “independently and competently” assessed.
Community relations manager Graeme Purches told the Otago Daily Times that if the board decides to go ahead then it would simply be a matter of how long delivery of the turbines took and how quickly contractors could get them in place.
"I'd certainly like to think that by the end of the calendar year we would at least have some turbines firing power out."
Three appeals have come from concerned residents who question health and safety aspects of the project, while the third comes from Genesis itself, which is unhappy with a number of the final conditions.
Genesis Energy, the country's third largest power generator, is investigating getting into wind farm development in Hawkes Bay.
The state owned enterprise has reached an agreement with Unison Networks to investigate taking an equity share in the proposal.
Genesis chief executive Murray Jackson says the Hawkes Bay site is ideally located between the company's hydro schemes at Waikaremoana and Tongaririo.
He says the first stage will generate 150 megawatts, which will be doubled if a second stage goes ahead.
State power company Genesis Energy is eyeing up two big proposed wind farms in Hawke’s Bay.
Chief executive Murray Jackson said Genesis was interested in taking an equity stake and not just buying the power from the wind farms “because you want to be at the (board) table”.
The appeal was opposed by the Waitahora-Puketoi Guardians incorporated society and the owners of 10 properties close to the site.
Opponents were concerned about adverse effects on the landscape, potential contamination of underground waterways and the effect of traffic on farming operations during construction.
A new player in the south-west wind energy market is preparing to launch a major project near Penshurst.
Res Australia has confirmed its interest in building turbines on farmland near the small community, with executives to meet local residents in the next eight weeks.
The Department of Primary Industries website lists the farm as capable of generating up to 625 megawatts of electricity.
Planning Minister Justin Madden is facing a legal challenge to his approval of taller turbines at a controversial South Gippsland wind farm.
Japanese company Mitsui is preparing to build the 52-turbine Bald Hills Wind Farm 10km south-east of Tarwin Lower.
Policymakers have settled on 'emissions trading' as their favorite global-warming fix. But it isn't working.
March 12, 2007 issue - Global warming isn't the only debate that may be over. Governments and policymakers around the world also seem to have settled on a solution. "A responsible approach to solving this crisis," Al Gore said recently at New York University's Law School, would be "to authorize the trading of emissions ... globally." Emissions trading, also called carbon trading, is being expanded in the European Union and Japan. And in many places where it's yet to take hold, like Sacramento, Sydney and Beijing, politicians are embracing it. Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and Europe's foremost political expert on global warming, predicts that the value of carbon credits in circulation, now about $28 billion, will climb to $40 billion by 2010.
This should be great news for the environment, but many experts have their doubts. The notion that emissions trading is going to make a significant dent in global warming is deeply flawed, they say. Current emissions-trading schemes have proved to be little more than a shell game, allowing polluters in the developed world to shift the burden of making cuts onto factories in the developing world.
New Zealand needs to seriously look at using a nuclear power plant to generate electricity with low greenhouse gas emissions, says a leading electricity company.
"If the country at large does not get on board with nuclear technology, then when fusion reactors are available we will be so far behind the pace we won't have the research department ready to understand it," said Genesis chief executive Murray Jackson.
Man-made nuclear fusion has been touted overseas as the cheap, safe, clean and almost limitless energy source of the future.
A war of words has broken out between wind power's "David and Goliath" three days before the Project Hayes development heads back to the Environment Court. ...Mr Carr ...said the extensive appeal process might not have been required if the energy companies had fronted up with accurate, pertinent information in the first place.
A collection of humble plants clinging to 600 million-year-old rocks on a distant mountain range and a small dragon given to promiscuous sex under a hot sun have forced planners to redraw the map for the southern hemisphere's biggest wind farm.
The discovery that spinifex - normally an inhabitant of the red dirt plains below - is living on sediment probably deposited in the last Ice Age and has red mallee and gum coolibah trees for neighbours is so strange and rare that the Silverton wind farm designers have moved 153 turbines from some of the windiest ridges.
Trustpower has reiterated that it may truck 72-tonne machines through Mosgiel's main street to its inland wind farm.
But the Dunedin City Council's transportation operations manager, Don Hill, cannot see how that can be done.
The power company wants to use Gordon Rd, if the Taieri River bridge on Allanton Rd cannot be strengthened, to truck heavy parts of machinery to the wind-farm site at Mahinerangi.
TrustPower community relations managerGraeme Purches said the company had never intended to use Riccarton Rd. ...Under the consent conditions for the wind farms, the companies had to consult local authorities and prepare a traffic management plan, and those discussions had not taken place, Mr Hill said.
Construction began on Roaring 40s' $400 million Musselroe Bay wind farm several months ago, but there are rumours the work will stop next week.
The Mayor of Dorset, Barry Jarvis, says he spoke to some concerned workers at a community meeting last night.
"[The construction company] Hazells have probably got about four or five people left on site and their understanding is that in a week to 10 days that will stop," said Mr Jarvis.
The Government intends putting two renewable energy projects on the fast track by using its special powers under the Resource Management Act.
Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said today Unison was seeking resource consents for a 34-turbine wind farm at Te Waka and Contact Energy was seeking consents for a new geothermal power station near Taupo.
Mr Mallard said he was going to "call in" the projects because they were of national significance.
Neighbours have no guarantee that a proposed wind farm would not be located within two kilometres of their house.
The NSW government rejected an inquiry recommendation for a two kilometre setback from dwellings, when they released its response to the Legislative Council's Rural Wind Farm inquiry last week.
Transpower system operations manager Kieran Devine has revealed that three major farms, located around the Manawatu Gorge, supplied less than 1% of their capacity during peak load periods during each of the past three winters.
The three farms generating from wind around the Manawatu Gorge are: Trustpower's Tararua (134 turbines), NZ Wind Farms' Te Rere Hau (104), Meridian Energy's Te Apiti (55).
"Either there was insufficient wind at that time, or the current farms are all in the wrong locations and there's not enough wind system diversity," Mr Devine said in an interview with the Taranaki News.
"We have real concerns about the large amount of wind generation planned in the lower North Island, because the preliminary information is that they will all have very similar characteristics to the Manawatu farms and that won't help with winter peaks. We'd prefer they were spread around so that when one's up others will be down and it would balance itself out."