Energy Resources Aotearoa has welcomed the release today of a significant package of energy policies for consultation, saying they raise important issues that need to be resolved as we transition to a more renewable energy economy while maintaining reliable, affordable energy.
Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says:
"The package is the start of an important conversation about how we restore long-term confidence in New Zealand’s energy sector. We need unprecedented levels of investment to achieve our ambitions - and policy settings need to change to support that.
"The long-awaited release makes for sobering reading and points to what Energy Resources Aotearoa has been saying for some time: New Zealand is facing an energy shortfall as efforts to remove natural gas cannot adequately be offset solely by alternate renewable technologies.
"The reality is that even as we increase renewable capacity significantly, we need solutions to keep the lights on when renewables cannot deliver.
"Policy settings must be laser-focused on encouraging this. We agree with officials that importing LNG would not be viable, or provide us with domestic energy security. The fact that this is an option on the table is extremely concerning as it points to the energy gap."
Carnegie says that while the policy package raises several concerns, it is pleasing to see the Government acknowledge the opportunities to reduce emissions - including carbon capture, natural gas storage and renewable gases.
"Affordable and reliable energy can only be achieved with a diverse fuel and technology mix.
"We have long pointed to the opportunity that carbon capture, natural gas storage and renewable gas offer to meet our net zero emissions goals. No one option is a silver bullet, but overseas experiences with these projects show they can remove hard to abate emissions while ensuring the international competitiveness of our emissions intensive businesses, such as those in the energy and manufacturing sectors.
"This is an exciting development, particularly after yesterday’s announced $2 billion fund from BlackRock. Like many others, BlackRock has invested significantly in carbon capture projects across the world, and we look forward to them doing the same here."