The Environment Court’s decision to oppose Meridian Energy’s Project Hayes windfarm is a concern for every infrastructure investment in the country, says the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.
Chief executive Fraser Clark said Meridian would find support for its appeal across other industries.
On Friday, Meridian’s chief executive Tim Lusk said it would appeal the decision, which if left to stand, would block nationally important projects.
Project Hayes, a $2 billion, 176-turbine windfarm, was planned for the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago but staunchly opposed by the local community and personalities including Anton Oliver, Brian Turner and Grahame Sydney.
Resource consent, granted in 2007, was overturned this month.
Mr Lusk said developments of the kind had an inescapable impact on the environment, but setting the bar so high on environmental standards would not help the economy or society people aspired to.
The Environment Court decision had effectively created a new, cost-benefit analysis test, which required evaluation against other hypothetical projects – expanding the RMA process into an economic management system controlling all new generation, he said.
Mr Clark said there was some government awareness of the challenges faced under the RMA, which was evident in the first phase of changes that included a new Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate consents for large-scale projects.
But the balance between public good and environmental outcomes had not yet been found.
Speaking at the Clean Energy Summit and Expo in Auckland on Wednesday, Mr Clark will address some of the issues in managing wind farm investment in the current climate.
There were definitely opportunities, he said. “Wind energy is still worth considering.”
While there were “a number of planets that need to align” to enable projects to get off the ground, there were alternative investment options.
These included partnering between projects and technologies and energy companies, public-private agreements, and agreements between industrial users and projects.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
Most listened to
- Tim Hunter on why Veritas is doing it the hard way
- Matthew Hooton on whether Steven Joyce will be the next national leader
- Rodney Hide on why all city planners should be fired
- Nevil Gibson discusses his latest Editor's Insight on films
- The NBR crew throw around some of the week's top stories
- Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was
- "A tragedy" - David Farrar on his disappointment with Simon Bridges
- New F&P product pipeline exciting, says Macquarie senior investment adviser Brad Gordon
- Taupo Motorsport Park executive director Tony Walker on the park's rebranding
- NZIER senior economist Christina Leung on why she does not think the OCR will hit 2%
- NBR's Cameron Officer talks about the NBR Car of the Year 2015
- John Barnett on Brewer: ‘Boy, has he got a bit to learn’