Where will Paddon get his power from

Announced in late August was the new project for Paddon RallySport – the design, development and construction of the world’s first electric rally car that will be capable of running full length rallies. This is a great objective but where will Paddon RallySport get the electricity from? In fact, with all the emphasis on electric this and that, where will we get the power from in the future?

It is something that we take for granted. We just plug in and expect the electricity to be there. But it is a finite resource based on our ability to generate.

At the end of August we also had the government’s decision to stop the building of a hydro power scheme on the Waitaha River, between Hokitika and Franz Josef on the West Coast of NZ. With the potential to power up to 12,000 homes, it was vetoed by Environmental Minister David Parker and has been described as ‘a victory for minority environmental interests over common sense’.

If you read the decision by Minister David Parker (Waitaha Hydro Scheme – Decision on application for concessions) he comes up with what appear to be reasonable grounds to reject the proposal….”the intrinsic value of the area as well as the enjoyment and appreciation of the area by members of the public will decline.”

Yet, there are reasonable grounds for the government to consider all renewable energy proposals for the greater good of the nation and its future.

We require energy to live, to function, work, travel, produce food and goods for trade, and for recreation. The more of us on earth the more energy we will require. The more people in New Zealand the more energy we will require.

This is what people seem to forget. To do most things in life, requires some form of energy. You cannot purchase an electric car and think you are doing the world a favour. It requires energy to produce it. It requires energy to run it. It will require energy to dispose of it.

The problem that I have is that if we are to progress away from fossil fuels towards more environmentally friendly forms of energy, then something has to give. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

We cannot have electricity without some sort of production that will not impact the environment. We cannot sustain a pristine environment without some sort of impact from our need and requirements for energy. Make the choice – fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewable energy (solar, wind or hydro).

One would have thought that any form of renewable energy, particularly hydro, should be given more consideration by the government.

If we don’t take the opportunities to create more capacity, where will we get out power from in the future? Where will Paddon get his electricity from?

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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