17 Aug 2000
Dear Peter Meisen
Thank you for your letter of 19 July 2000 to the Prime Minister advising her of a potential proposal to the United Nations seeking commitment to interconnect national power grids. I have been asked to consider your letter and to respond directely to you.
I can see some potential benefits of internationally interconnected power systems. However, I do not believe that it has significant potential for application by New Zealad - particularly given our geographic isolation and small population.
On the international stage energy trading is already widely practiced. There are strong financial incentives for nations to establish co-operative relationships to utilise both traditional and renwable energy resources.
Rather than seeking to interconnect electricity grids, a more useful stance would be to enhance international co-operation and funding to improve the efficiency of eletricity generation, distribution, transmission and end-use. In addition focus should be directed at directely fostering the development of disributed electricity generation technologies, particularly those based on renwable resources.
To these ends New Zealand is already playing its part through co-operative energy efficiency initiatives being conducted under the APEC umbrella and through bi-lateral relations with Australia. The New Zealand government is also working in the South Pacific to develop efficient energy infrastructures in island nations.
Hon Pete Hodgson
Parliament Buildings, Wellington, New Zealand, Telephone:(04) 470 6558, Facsimile: (04) 495 844