Archive | Energy management

Adams says fracking guidelines provide clear direction

Environment Minister Amy Adams said yesterday new guidelines for managing the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would support the environmentally responsible development of resources.

Ms Adams said: “The environmental risks of onshore petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing, can be effectively managed if best practice is followed. These guidelines provide clear direction so hydraulic fracturing is carried out in a robust, controlled & well regulated manner.”

She said the guidelines clarified the regulatory roles of central & local government for activities relating to fracking, and provided guidance to local government to appropriately manage the activity under the Resource Management Act. The guidelines cover the lifecycle of onshore petroleum wells, from initial seismic surveying through to decommissioning activities.

The guidelines follow the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s interim report, which evaluated the environmental impacts of fracking in New Zealand. Dr Wright is expected to release her final report this year.

The guidelines have been peer-reviewed by local & international resource management experts, and incorporate feedback from councils, non-government organisations, petroleum & primary industries, district health boards & iwi.

“As a result of consultation, the guidelines now include additional information on coal seam gas extraction, clarify the types of waste that land-farming may be an appropriate option for managing, and provide clarification that the guidelines apply to onshore activities.

“The guidelines are an important step to ensuring hydraulic fracturing is managed appropriately, and the Ministry for the Environment will be monitoring the effectiveness of the guidelines as they are implemented by councils over the next 12 months.

Link: Fracking guidelines

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Kaipara tidal power scheme approved

Published 22 August 2008

Crest Energy Ltd has been granted consent for a tidal power generation facility in the Kaipara Harbour entrance channel.


The Northland Regional Council completed its hearing in May and issued its consent yesterday.


Crest is a local company (directors Nick Eady & Anthony Hopkins, Auckland) and its project has been financed by an oversubscribed issue of shares last September (not a public issue).


The company estimates that, when fully implemented, it will generate power for up to 250,000 homes and could contribute 3% of New Zealand’s power supply.


To proceed to the construction phase, Crest estimates it will need about $40 million.  Estimated total costs over 10 years are about $600 million, offset by modest but growing revenues from year 3. Annual revenue from 200 turbines is theoretically up to $100 million at current wholesale electricity prices.


The consent application was to place 200 turbine units on the seabed in the deepest parts of the entrance to the Kaipara Harbour, to generate 200Mw (gross) electricity from the tidal currents and to transmit the generated energy, at an operating voltage of 75kV potential, 7km to a landfall at Pouto via a buried transmission cable in the seabed.


Crest also got consent to thrust a duct under the seabed of the Northern Wairoa River between Tikinui & Raupo alongside existing ducted electricity transmission cabling to house the proposed electricity transmission cables. Transmission between Pouto & Tikinui, and thence from Raupo to Mararetu, will be through the existing Northpower distribution network.


The regional council’s hearing committee said it accepted Crest would apply an adaptive management approach. On that basis, the committee set conditions for the project to proceed, “even though there are, as yet, some unquantifiable effects which need to be confirmed as being minor”.


Website: Crest Energy


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Attribution: Council decision, Crest website, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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New energy performance standards approved

New minimum energy performance standards have been approved for airconditioners, refrigerated display cabinets, distribution transformers & domestic refrigerators.

All but the domestic fridge standard will take effect from 1 October. The fridge standard will be introduced on 1 January.

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority chief executive Heather Staley estimated today the standards would give businesses & households up to $50 million in energy savings over 10 years.

The measures are part of the Appliance & equipment energy efficiency forward programme 2004-05, which sets out 28 product classes and recommends options for improving their energy efficiency.

“These standards will identify types of equipment & appliances which are more energy-efficient. By using electricity more efficiently, New Zealand can delay the need to build new power stations,” Ms Staley said.

The 28 product categories include water heaters, refrigerators, lighting & solid fuel heaters.

Website: Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority

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