*** Take the Power Bill Challenge today – you have nothing to lose… but money to gain! - Click here ***

Waste-to-energy Scheme NZ

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Waste-to-energy Scheme NZ

RNZ: Experts warned govt not to touch waste-to-energy scheme

The government announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for a proposed waste-to-energy scheme two days after experts advised it was a lemon.

The Environment Ministry warned the Provincial Growth Fund that the proposed project on the West Coast did not stack up economically or environmentally.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones placed the proposed scheme on ice in February after RNZ informed him its chief executive, Gerard Gallagher, had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

Now, advice obtained under the Official Information Act shows the Environment Ministry warned the scheme had enormous flaws just two days before Mr Jones announced $350,000 for its feasibility study.

Not only would the scheme undermine other incentives to reduce waste – like recycling, it would increase carbon emissions the experts cautioned.

The Environment Ministry warned the project relied upon “unrealistic expectations”.

It said those behind the scheme “do not demonstrate an understanding of the South Island waste market”, “had not secured adequate feedstock for the project”, “the business case and budget are not adequately formed”, and “the applicant demonstrated key misunderstandings of the New Zealand context including the “erroneous assumption all landfills are required to close by 2040”.

However, this advice was dismissed.

Mr Jones said he never received the advice and even if he had it would have made no difference.

“I haven’t seen that email, but look I wouldn’t catastrophise such trivial events – the bureaucrats will constantly be trading streams of analysis among themselves.”

Mr Jones said even if he had been aware of the Environment Ministry’s position it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

“It makes not one jot of difference to me – a feasibility study should be able to flush all such information out,” Mr Jones said.

“And if the thing dies as a consequence of a feasibility study that’s why private sector and public sector should do feasibility studies.”

 

Other News

Dec 9, 2018

How much is the wrong power plan costing you?

How much is the wrong power plan costing you? A recent government study indicates that being on the wrong electricity plan may be costing new Zealanders $39 million per year!

Nov 27, 2018

Moving House: a simple guide and to-do list

Planning to move house soon? Feeling overwhelmed? Having a simple plan of attack can help make sure things go smoothly. Check out our Moving House Guide

Oct 15, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Energy Online

Check out our spotlight on Energy Online. They can help sort out your electricity, natural gas and LPG. Plus they keep it simple – with simple pricing, no contract and a $100 joining credit. What...

Oct 4, 2018

Top 10 ways to reduce your power bill this summer

Summer is coming! It’s finally time to turn off those heaters, shed those winter clothes and embrace the sun. As things heat up keeping cool can be expensive – here are our top tips to...

Sep 17, 2018

Meridian Energy ditches “unfair” prompt payment discounts

Meridian Energy announces it is ditching prompt payment discounts in favour of a guaranteed monthly discount for all customers from 1 October.