Tidal and wave research institute proposed in New Zealand

Illustration/NWEI’s Azura wave energy device developed with the support of NZ government (Photo: NWEI)

The Green Party of New Zealand has put forward a plan to create a research institute that would focus on tidal and wave energy technologies in the west of New Zealand’s North Island.

The Greens said the creation of a marine energy technology research institute, that would be based in the region of Taranaki, would form part of the transition away from oil drilling.

The money for the institute would come from the $11.7 million (NZ$ 16 million) of unallocated funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand, which supports the Regional Research Institutes, the Greens added.

Gareth Hughes, Green Party’s energy and resource spokesperson, said: “New Zealand risks falling behind in the global race to develop marine energy technology and the Green Party will help stimulate research into this exciting clean energy sector by establishing a Marine Energy Regional Research Institute.

“It’s a global growth industry that other governments have actively supported by establishing research centers. Taranaki would be the perfect location to lead research into marine energy, building on the existing expertise in energy developments and marine engineering.

“The Regional Research Institute would provide a focal point for industry, researchers, and the public to investigate technological developments and the environmental impacts.”

Hughes made the announcement at a First Union meeting in New Plymouth ahead of New Zealand general election set to take place on September 23, 2017.

Should the Green Party be elected, they said a specific contestable funding round to choose the location and partners for the marine energy research institute would be held.

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