Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kiwis to have say in energy transition

The Government is seeking feedback on a programme of work to transition New Zealand towards a low emissions economy, with consultation on five streams of energy policy launched by Minister of Energy and Resources, Megan Woods, today.

The Minister said the Government had already laid the groundwork for a new energy future that moves New Zealand away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

“The next steps are to shape how that will happen,” she said.

“Yesterday’s announcement with BlackRock on a $2 billion investment fund for clean tech and renewable energy shows how important our climate change policies are to attracting investment to help secure a fully renewable electricity grid.

“The future of energy in New Zealand is renewable. We will phase out fossil fuels and replace them with clean energy.”

Minister Woods said the move would give New Zealand “a leading economic edge as people demand more sustainability in the products and services they buy, and help New Zealand meet its climate change commitments”.

“Achieving this will require the energy transition to be made in a way that keeps the lights on, keeps power bills affordable, and keeps our economy growing,” she said.

“That’s why we are taking a coordinated and deliberate action to improve the way the entire country is powered – from the energy used to process food to the energy used to deliver it to your door.

“We are asking New Zealanders to have a say on important policy areas that will shape our way toward to a renewable future.”

The consultations include:

  • a plan for managing the gas industry’s transition to a low emissions future;
  • an Interim Hydrogen Roadmap to set out the government’s initial views on the future role of hydrogen in New Zealand;
  • regulations to enable offshore renewable energy development;
  • market measures to make sure electricity is reliable and affordable as we transition to an expanded and more renewable system;
  • and how we will implement the Emissions Reduction Plan action to ban new fossil fuel baseload electricity generation.

“Setting the gas sector on the right path will be critical for reducing emissions, maintaining energy security and affordability, and for New Zealand’s prosperity,” said Dr Woods.

“The offshore renewable energy consultation demonstrates the significant growth potential of this resource and economic opportunities.

“The electricity market measures consultation considers challenges arising during the transition, and explores whether additional measures may be needed to keep electricity reliable and affordable as more renewable electricity supply is developed.”

She said that where electrification isn’t easy, the Government wants to equip Kiwi businesses and households to choose the best emissions reductions technologies for the job.

“Sustainable and safe hydrogen and biogas will be part of this mix. The Interim Hydrogen Roadmap consultation and the Gas Transition Plan issues paper explore the opportunities in this area and the key trade-offs that may need to be made,” said Ms Woods.

Together, the consultations aim to inform further work to set the direction and pace of change for reducing New Zealand’s emissions from energy.

Submissions will be used to develop a final Hydrogen Roadmap, Gas Transition Plan, offshore renewable regulatory regime, identify priority electricity market measures and support implementation of Government’s commitment to ban new fossil fuel baseload electricity generation, as well as support the development of the New Zealand Energy Strategy by the end of 2024.

More information on how to make a submission is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website: www.mbie.govt.nz/ourenergyfuture.

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