The Green Party is less than impressed with Solid Energy.
Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said that Solid Energy has to be told to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on pie-in-the sky lignite to liquid fuel schemes that will only skyrocket New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Solid Energy CEO Don Elder told the National Power Conference that Solid Energy was progressing its Southland coal to liquid fuels project and had developed strong relationships with key potential international partners.
“There are real questions about whether carbon capture and storage of emissions from coal burning will work or not. But even if the technology is successfully developed, making petrol and diesel from lignite will still increase New Zealand’s climate changing emissions,” Ms Fitzsimons says.
This is because these emissions could potentially only be captured from the plant that converts the coal into petrol and diesel. They cannot be captured and stored from the tail pipes of the vehicles that burn the fuel, nor can they be captured during the mining process if the lignite is being taken from underground.
“The Green Party is opposed to any expansion of coal mining in New Zealand and particularly the use of lignite for liquid fuels.
“The way to a reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand’s transport system is through much more efficient vehicles, better public transport, more car pooling, more walking and cycling and the from the use of some biofuels and electrically powered vehicles.
“The owner of Solid Energy, which is the Government on behalf of the people of New Zealand, must tell the company to get its head out of the clouds.”