100% target needs to be evidence based

A goal of 100% renewable electricity needs to evidence-based and thoroughly tested, according to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“The Government’s own Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) warned against a 100% target for 2035 given that it would be very expensive and have only minimal impacts on emissions,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“We’d want to see careful consideration of the costs and benefits of bringing a 100% target even further forward, as well as for all other policies.

“A Government-backed hydro scheme is likely to be a major deterrent to any private sector energy investment given it could render them unprofitable. Its need could become self-fulfilling.

“The pace and nature of our transition will ultimately be determined by global economics. New Zealand has tried to hide from market forces before without success and at massive long-term economic and social cost. We cannot subsidise our way to prosperity, especially in the current highly uncertain global environment.

“We support the goal of lower emissions but think the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a far better option to achieve this.

“Renewable electricity is great but it needs back-up for times when supply is low and demand is high. Natural gas plays a superb role here providing an affordable, reliable and low emissions back-up, avoiding the need for expensive over-build of primary sources.

“All the evidence points to natural gas having a crucial role as we transition.”