The Greens’ Climate Defence Tour started on Sunday afternoon at the Lyttelton Port when about 30 people, including Jeanette Fitzsimons, gathered to watch the launching of an experimental wave machine being investigated by Industrial Research Limited. Jeanette addressed the crowd, stating that the Government needed to foster small engineering projects that contribute to the research and production of renewable energies. Highlighting the presence of ‘Coal Mountain’, the stockpile of coal extracted from the West Coast waiting to be exported to overseas’ markets looming over the other side of the Port; Jeanette praised the wave machine as a symbol of ‘new energy vs. old energy’.
As a country naturally endowed with a vast coastline, the potential of wave technology should surely be treated as an important contribution to the sustainable energy solution. What is highlighted by these projects, however, is the difficulty in finding suitable funding to achieve further development, and competition with larger power generation companies. Is the solution to favour the research and development of smaller, community-based sustainable power initiatives, and a move away from a large centralised grid?