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Industrial Research Supports Home Wind Turbines

Researchers at Industrial Research Ltd. are backing comments by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment that promote small wind turbines for homes, saying there is rising public enthusiasm for alternative energy sources such as wind generation.

Alister Gardiner, energy research manager at Industrial Research, says the amount of interest in Dr. Morgan William's remarks shows people are interested in power generation that is under the control of the individual, rather than a "faceless supplier." "Consumer-owned technologies won't have a major immediate impact on the way electricity is generated in New Zealand, but they could gradually play an important part in our future energy mix," said Gardiner. Before this can happen, he added, New Zealand's electricity network access rules need to be improved for micro-generation, as they are currently among the least supportive in the developed world. "One turbine from China shows remarkably better performance than many of the others, simply because it is designed for much lighter wind conditions," said Gardiner. "Although this particular turbine is not suitable for mounting on a house roof, some of the newer designs certainly are." According to Gardiner, researchers at Industrial Research Ltd. are hoping that the electricity supply industry and government agencies will support this research initiative so that concerns that have been raised about introducing these technologies can be assessed in the field. He is hoping that the regulatory agencies responsible will develop a positive regulatory environment to encourage their initial uptake in the near future. "We need to provide consumers with some viable choices for alternative energy supply. New power generation technologies will also produce many exciting advanced technology manufacturing opportunities for New Zealand industry," added Gardiner.

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