Geothermal Project in New Zealand Wins Emission Units

The government of New Zealand awarded more than 1.2 million internationally tradable emissions units to Mighty River Power’s proposed 70 MW Kawerau geothermal electricity scheme.

Under New Zealand’s Projects to Reduce Emissions program, units are awarded to projects that lead to a net reduction in emission that would not otherwise be financially viable. “Climate change is a direct threat to New Zealand’s economy, environment and way of life. Our ratification of the Kyoto Protocol means that the government can award emissions units to projects such as this that would otherwise not be financially viable at this time,” said Pete Hodgson, convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change. Steam for the proposed scheme will be drawn from under land owned by the Putauaki Trust and Norske Skog Tasman under agreements with Mighty River Power. The company’s proposal, subject to a resource consents process, calls for the project to come on stream at the end of 2007 with an anticipated life of 25 years. “Kyoto and the Projects programme are enabling hundreds of megawatts of generation to be brought forward and millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to be saved. Our economy, business and the environment all win,” says Hodgson.