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Fiona Weightman
Renewable Energy Programme Executive, EECA
New Zealand

The New Zealand government supports the development of new and renewable energy technologies. In 1996, renewable energy provided 33% of New Zealand's total consumer energy demand. Nearly all this renewable energy (97%) comes from 'traditional' generation sources, mainly large-scale hydro development (60%) although some comes from firewood in homes, wood processing wastes in industry and geothermal developments.

New Zealand's climatic, geographic and other factors make conditions favourable for many new and renewable energy projects. The new and renewable energy technologies which are most likely to make an increased contribution within the next decade are: biomass, in the form of wood processing residues, domestic firewood supplies and forest arisings; wind power via wind farms; passive solar building design; and new small hydro schemes.

The government's new and renewable energy programme is managed through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce. EECA's renewable initiatives have developed to assist the renewable energy industry, in particular with new and emerging renewable technologies. Initiatives include: the dissemination of technical information; advocacy for research and development projects and support for renewable industry networks; and the facilitation of standards and best practice guidelines. EECA is also the National Team for CADDET activities. The access to international information and links through the CADDET network are particularly useful in New Zealand in subjects where New Zealand has a natural advantage.

The challenge ahead is to utilise New Zealand's natural advantages and technical skill base to develop cost-effective renewable energy projects that are consistent with sustainable development. To achieve the government's energy policy goals for New Zealand will involve a shift, over time, towards the greater use of renewable forms of energy. EECA looks forward to assisting the industry to take up this challenge.

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The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to
Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.