“Worried about the steeply rising cost of petrol and the cost of living? Upscaling of cheaper and clean domestic renewable energy and electrification is the pathway to wean ourselves off importing expensive oil from despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia or Putin’s Russia” said Denis Tegg, Waikato Regional Councillor for Thames Coromandel, and Deputy Chair of the council’s Climate Action Committee
“These two actions end funding of genocide in Ukraine and elsewhere, lowers emissions from fossil fuels, saves us billions in foreign exchange and health costs and lowers the cost of living. The good news is that we have begun this transition in the Waikato, including in Thames Coromandel.”
“Four new utility-scale solar energy farms have been announced in Waikato in the past few months confirming that the region is indeed the “goldilocks” region in New Zealand for domestic renewable energy.”
“The solar farms under development are near Whitianga, Huntly, Te Aroha, and just this week another near Taupo will be New Zealand’s largest with 750,000 individual solar panels and which could power 100,000 homes – more than one in every 20 houses across New Zealand, “ said Cr Tegg.
“These solar farms can be combined with conventional agriculture such as grazing sheep, cropping, pollinator planting and beekeeping. Waterways will be rejuvenated, and hundreds of jobs created. The co-benefits are enormous”. said Cr Tegg
Large wind farms are progressing near Raglan, Paeroa and at Taharoa. Investigations by an international consortium have identified several opportunities for marine wind off the Waikato west coast and for floating solar on polluted lakes in the north of the region.
“The Waikato is blessed with abundant sunshine and wind assets, and accessibility to good power distribution networks. This explains why the region is attracting so much interest from domestic and international investors”, Tegg said.
“Waikato Regional Council already has policies and plans in place to facilitate renewable energy projects. Central government reform of the RMA with the requirement for Regional Spatial Strategies linked with the National Emissions Reduction plan will also help accelerate this great opportunity for regional development in Waikato,” said Cr Tegg.
Thames Coromandel representative on Waikato Regional Council