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NZ risks falling behind on clean energy

The shift to clean energy is happening faster than predicted, and New Zealand should do more than just keep up, says energy leader Michael Liebreich.

The founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and an international leader in energy systems modelling is taking part in New Zealand briefings organised by Z Energy on emerging industry trends.

He told the BusinessNZ Young Energy Professionals Network that the uptake of wind and solar technology was increasing faster than predicted by most in the energy sector, and New Zealand’s leading industries would need to switch to clean energy as soon as possible.

"If you’re selling bulk commodities like milk powder, there will be other countries processing it with clean energy a lot cheaper. This change is coming," Michael Liebreich said.

He warned if New Zealand industries failed to keep up with the move to renewable energy, they would lose competitiveness to countries that are front-footing the shift.

Young Energy Professional Network Chair Harsharan Singh said renewable energy pricing was already lower than non-renewables for some industrial uses.

The cost of implementing renewable generation such as wind farms was cheaper than implementing non-renewable generation such as coal or gas-fired power plant, Mr Singh said.

The Young Energy Professionals Network is a BusinessNZ Energy Council-affiliated group of over 450 professionals working in the New Zealand energy sector.

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