Targets to provide direction for our energy future

The Government is looking at setting national energy targets to send a strong signal to businesses about what New Zealand’s energy future should look like, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced today.

“Technological transformation, the critical role energy plays in business competitiveness and the transition to a lower carbon economy mean it’s timely to revisit our energy goals and set a clear direction about New Zealand’s energy future,” Mr Bridges says.

“Our existing target of achieving 90 per cent of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2025 clearly sets out the Government’s direction for renewable electricity. 

“However we need to broaden our renewable advantage beyond electricity and this is one area where I’m considering a new target.

“While renewables currently make up 80 per cent of electricity generation, they make up around 40 per cent of total energy demand. This is very high by world standards but there are opportunities to increase the use of renewable energy in the transport and industrial heat sectors over time.

“Setting an energy intensity target - the measure of energy used per dollar of GDP - is another option I’m considering. Improving our energy intensity will lead to decreased costs and improve our business competitiveness.

“Energy targets would help us to measure our productivity relative to other countries as well as provide a platform for engagement on these issues between businesses and government.,” Mr Bridges says.

In conjunction, the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2011-2016 will be refreshed.

“The changing energy context means the Government’s priorities have evolved since the current strategy came into force.

“While the proposed energy targets would be overarching and aspirational with a long-term focus, the new strategy will set out polices and practical ways in which the proposed energy targets would be met.”

See also the Minister's speech New Zealand’s renewable advantage – moving beyond electricity

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