Coal Action Network Aotearoa today welcomed Genesis Energy’s announcement that it will close its Huntly coal-fired power station – but noted that this would now bring close scrutiny onto the next biggest coal user: Fonterra.
“The Genesis announcement will give the owners of the consented wind and geothermal projects the certainty to go ahead and build, creating jobs in a clean energy future,” said Jeanette Fitzsimons of CANA.
“We have more than enough renewable projects in the pipeline to replace Huntly coal and most of our gas-fired power stations,” she said.
“The question is how will Fonterra explain to its customers that it will now be going head-to-head with industrial steelmaking to be New Zealand biggest cause of coal-fired climate disruption.”
Fonterra is New Zealand’s third largest coal user. Its coal use has grown by 38 precent since 2008 and more growth is planned as it ignores the options of more sustainable waste wood-fired boilers in favour of coal for its milk drying processes.