Project Hayes decision fails to find balance
“The Environment Court’s decision to decline Meridian Energy’s Project Hayes highlights how hard it is to resolve the
tension between New Zealander’s energy use and concern about the environment,” says Fraser Clark, Chief Executive of the
New Zealand Wind Energy Association.
“New Zealanders value our environment. But we also want economic growth, which comes hand and hand with increased energy
use. It is well recognised that wind energy provides one of the best options for low-cost new electricity generation
combined with minimal environmental impacts.
“There will be a range of opinions about the Project Hayes decision. Opponents of the project will see it as a win.
“Whether or not the decision is the right one, what is concerning is that it seems to raise the bar for assessing
renewable energy projects above and beyond the bar for other large scale infrastructure projects. This has the potential
to create a far greater loss for all of New Zealand by hindering the development of other renewable energy schemes.