Monday, January 11, 2010


Crest Energy seems to have been granted resource consent by the Environment Court for its planned 200 MW tidal power station in the Kaipara Harbour. Conditions on monitoring the impact on marine life still need to be finalised, but will include a two-year monitoring programme to establish a baseline before the project begins. At this stage Crest doesn't seem to think that's too onerous, so the project will at least get off the ground. And if the impacts aren't too severe, then we should be seeing another 200MW of renewable energy plugged into the grid by the end of the decade.

Hopefully this will be the project of many. Tidal and wave energy is a great underutilised resource in New Zealand, and potentially a source for a large proportion of our electricity needs. If we want to wean ourselves off gas and coal but don't want to ruin any more rivers, then marine energy is going to have to be part of the mix. This is one of the keys to our clean, green future; hopefully it'll work out OK.