FutureFive NZ - Greenpeace calls for an overhaul of the New Zealand electricity industry

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Greenpeace calls for an overhaul of the New Zealand electricity industry

Greenpeace has called for an overhaul of the electricity industry after Solarcity’s complaint against solar tax was dismissed in court.

A Greenpeace petition against the solar tax garnered over 80,000 signatures, needless to say that the organisation was not pleased with the court’s ruling.

Kate Simcock, Greenpeace campaigner says, “The fact that this ridiculous tax cannot be properly challenged shows that the electricity industry in New Zealand is not accountable to anyone.

“Electricity is a closely guarded commodity that’s being run to serve private interests.”

“Not only is this an industry that keeps prices high and on the rise, but it’s also systematically stifling the growth of the clean technology like solar that we urgently need in the face of a climate catastrophe.”

“It’s morally repugnant that big electricity players are knowingly taking steps to slow the uptake of solar because they see it as a threat to their bottom line.”

As the effects of climate change continue to worsen, New Zealand has seen a surge of extreme weather events, including floods, cyclones and droughts, all within the space of just a few months.

Drought on the South Island has been so bad this year it’s deprived the hydro dams of water, this has lead to coal power plants starting back up.

It’s been revealed that the New Zealand’s last coal-fired power station in Huntly is now firing up at full capacity, Genesis Energy even buying extra coal from Indonesia to power it.

In April last year, Genesis announced it would be keeping Huntly’s coal burners on for at least another four years, despite previously promising to turn them off by 2018.

This followed closed-door discussions by several power companies, including Meridian Energy, subverting the decision to shut the burners down.

Simcock continues, “Renewables already make up more than half of the world’s new power capacity and you’d think ‘clean, green’ New Zealand would be at the forefront of that.

"Instead Over the past year we’ve seen major electricity players conspire to keep dirty fuels burning with no regard for the climate crisis facing our communities, or the consumers who are getting a bad deal.”

“This is an electricity industry that has been allowed to run rogue for too long.”

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