Draft Energy Policy — July 2005
We depend on cheap oil as the main source of energy for transport, farming, manufacturing of plastics, fertiliser and pesticides. Demand for oil will exceed supply by 2010 and prices are rising steadily. We face a crisis of adjustment to a simpler, sustainable way of life. Democrats urge action now to prepare for the inevitable end of the oil age.
New Zealand is fortunate in having ample sunshine and strong winds, the harnessing of which will supplement hydro and geothermal power.
Wind farms. Reserve Bank credit will be used for construction by the state and loans at low interest made available to approved private developers.
Compulsory solar water heating in all new buildings without special exemptions. Free of interest loans will be available for new houses, other approved new structures and solar power installation in existing buildings.
Use of biomass. Growing crops such as hemp, and utilising wood waste and other biomass to produce biodiesel which with used cooking oils can be blended with mineral diesel.
Cooperative community-owned initiatives in sustainable energy production assisted by research grants and low interest loans funded by community credit.
Careful husbanding of our coal resources, our most valuable non-renewable source of energy and the feedstock for essential petrochemicals. Although polluting, coal use may be necessary as a power source till sufficient clean energy is available.
Rejection of nuclear fission as a power source because of its extremely toxic waste products.
Conservation measures to maximise efficiency e.g. encouraging major energy users to locate plant near energy sources, higher charge rates for excessive electricity consumption, exterior insulation of water heaters and a continuous education programme on power saving.
Fostering ongoing energy research.
Reclaiming our economic sovereignty, when possible, of vital services such as electricity and rail so foolishly sold to foreign investors in the Rogernomics era.
Transport is the major user of oil and radical changes must be made.
A massive investment in rail, which is cheaper than road transport: double tracking where desirable, reopening some branch lines, electrification of major routes and where practicable establishing new lines.
Using light rail and trolley buses to replace petrol and diesel buses in larger urban areas. Local authorities will be assisted in the change by low interest loans funded by community credit.
Sensible use of private cars. We propose imposing graduated duty and registration charges. e.g. hybrid cars and those less than 1600 ccs will have reduced charges.
Relocating the interisland shipping terminal at Clifford Bay, a considerable saving in sea and rail miles and time.
Rationalisation of food production to reduce current wasteful food mileage. This will stimulate local production and regional self-sufficiency.
Cycleways as safe alternative routes complementing the road network.
Democratic Party energy policy involves a huge investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure necessary now if we are to make a soft landing as the era of cheap oil comes to a close. We will ensure that through social credit — the issue of interest free loans — New Zealanders will pay only once to achieve sustainable self reliance and not twice or thrice. Support us in our quest for economic sovereignty in Aotearoa New Zealand.