NZ Energy Strategy

The latest version of the New Zealand Energy Strategy to 2050 was released at 11am on Thursday October 11th. The full document is available for download (as a 112page PDF document) over at this address.

On pages 7 & 8 – the Minister of Energy – David Parker makes these bold statements in the foreword.

“The quest for sustainability is a defining issue of the 21st century. It has taken on a new urgency because of the scale of the environmental challenge the world faces. Traditional patterns of development and fast growing populations have put a huge strain on our planet. This government has put sustainability high on its agenda. In doing so, it has issued a call to action to make New Zealand a truly sustainable nation.

Becoming truly sustainable is not only the right thing to aspire to – it’s also the smart thing to do. In a world that cares about sustainability, positioning New Zealand as sustainable is critical to our common future. It is fundamental to New Zealand’s ability to achieve our economic transformation objectives to ensure our future prosperity and international competitiveness. Making New Zealand sustainable can also stimulate new kinds of business opportunities to transform our abundant natural resources into higher value products, while protecting the environment.”

and a few paragraphs later…..

“The government has set a target for 90 per cent of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2025. Increasing the proportion of renewable electricity is an affordable option for New Zealand, using current technology and our indigenous resources, and it is the best choice for a sustainable economy and environment.

Initiatives to increase the proportion of renewable energy used in transport, in the form of biofuels and electricity, will also help reduce New Zealand’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. This will increase the resilience of our transport system and economy to sudden disruptions in oil supply, as well as longer-term concerns about global oil supplies and price uncertainty.

The New Zealand Energy Strategy, and the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy in particular, will also help us to become more energy efficient in our homes, working places and in transport.

Improving the way we use energy makes good sense in terms of improved comfort, lower costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Moving to a secure and low emissions energy system will also require changes in the way energy services such as electricity, heat and motive power are produced and delivered. Many of the actions in the New Zealand Energy Strategy will ensure that New Zealand is well positioned to take up opportunities provided by emerging low carbon technologies when they are available, cost effective and applicable to New Zealand.

We are determined to become a truly sustainable nation, and even a carbon neutral nation. This strategy maps out an ambitious but achievable pathway for the reduction of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.”

One early decision based on this strategy is that (Government owned SOE) Genesis Energy’s $500 million gas-fired power station planned for Rodney will no longer go ahead. Shareprices in Trustpower and Contact Energy have gone up.

From page 18 Strategic Leadership

“In support of this principle, and providing time for the full introduction of a price on greenhouse gas emissions, the government’s view is that there should not be a need for any new baseload fossil fuel generation investment for the next ten years. The government expects all generators, including state-owned enterprises, to take its views into account when considering new generation investments, and the government will advise state-owned enterprises that it expects them to follow this guidance.

For transport, the government has taken an in-principle decision to set a target of halving domestic transport emissions per capita by 2040 relative to 2007 emissions. The key areas for action are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative renewable fuels, significantly increasing vehicle efficiency, using more efficient modes of transport, and travel demand management through smarter planning.

The government is committed to building momentum in the uptake of electric vehicles and has taken an in-principle decision that New Zealand will be one of the first countries in the world to widely deploy electric cars. This will also make New Zealand more resilient to international oil price uncertainty and risks of supply disruptions. The introduction of biofuels will also increase the diversity of transport fuels.”

Might also be a good time to check this Radio NZ interview with David King -Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, talks about climate change with Kim Hill Current (current Podcasts here -duration: 32?44?) File Size:15.3MB, Date: (Sat, 06 Oct 2007 08:30:00 +1300)

I need to finish the report fully before making any comments. In the meantime I’m hoping for some better coverage over here at RSS Energy Feed or here for web, both from the NZ Herald.

Finally – here is an informed piece on the rugby by Inky. Hat tip to Public Address for pointing that out.