Monday, November 3, 2008

There's never been a better time to invest in alternatives to oil….

With the leaked results by the Financial Times last week from the International Energy Agency that the output of the world’s 400 largest oil fields will decline by 9.1% every year (barring extra investment to boost production) the urgency to invest in alternative energy sources has been firmly underlined.

To put this in perspective this means that the oil industry would need to bring online new production capacity equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia every 18 months in order to maintain current supply.

Frame this against the recent WWF report which ranks NZ as having the 6th largest per capita global footprint size, based on CO2 emissions largely derived from oil via imported goods, use of natural resources and transport and it’s pretty clear that our position is anything but tenable.

Of course one alternative which is gathering momentum is wind power. Wind has an excellent energy return on energy invested and can be used very effectively in NZ in tandem with hydro. The Green Party Energy Policy reads “ New Zealand has an excellent wind resource that can be used for pumping or electricity generation. Wind farms are quick to be commissioned, easily extended, and can be sited close to demand. The combination of wind and hydro is particularly beneficial as water can be stored in the lakes when the wind is blowing and used to generate power when it is not. Care is needed in choosing sites for wind farms, in order to respect cultural values such as iconic views. We want to see communities and energy companies agreeing about possible wind farm sites before specific proposals are developed.”

By the way; thanks to all of you who joined us to harness some wind energy at the weekend!

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