Greenpeace launched a new report called Winds of Change that explores New Zealand’s wind resource which it describes as among the best in the world.Auckland, New Zealand – July 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “We have enough potential wind energy to produce three times our present power generation each year”, said Greenpeace climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson. The new report Winds of Change underlines the importance of a strong long term energy strategy to help protect the environment from dangerous climate change and secure a sustainable energy supply. Atkinson contends that although wind energy is the fastest growing energy sector in the world, New Zealand is being left behind despite having one of the best wind energy resources on the planet. Total global wind energy capacity has reached 32,000 MW, which is over four hundred times larger than New Zealand’s installed wind energy capacity. Over 18 percent of Denmark’s electricity comes from wind and in Germany, 45,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the wind industry. New Zealand, only gets only about 0.5 percent of its electricity from wind. “If we look to the success stories of Denmark, Spain, the US and the UK, major renewable energy development only occurred when the Government had strong national policies and regional plans, supporting mechanisms such as mandatory renewable targets and financial incentives,” said Atkinson. “The New Zealand Government must do the same here and develop a long term energy strategy so the country can be running on electricity from 100 percent renewable sources by 2020. The report calls for the government to establish a policy framework that will: – Maintain Kyoto obligations. – Set mandatory renewable generation targets. – Create mechanisms to stimulate renewable generation, such as renewable energy certification schemes. – Encourage local manufacturing of wind turbine technology and a local market in which these products can be sold. – Encourage market restructuring schemes that will incorporate new smallscale renewable technologies. – Reduce and eliminate dirty energy sources such as coal – Allow local government to take a stronger role by providing leadership and policy direction at a national level. – Actively support new and innovative schemes such as net metering, distributed generation, and bulk purchasing programs. – Create and encourage financial mechanisms to support renewable energy development. – Work with local government to identify areas for wind developments and assist them in working with and educating communities. – Provide guidelines for appropriate siting of wind developments. The full text of the report can be found at the link below.