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Energy Outlook released

Media Statement

11 February 2000

Energy Outlook released

The Minister of Energy, Hon Pete Hodgson, today released the latest energy projections by the Ministry of Commerce.

"The Energy Outlook publication, using a number of scenarios and with projections through to 2020, contains detailed information on possible future energy supply and demand patterns and energy prices for New Zealand. While a number of organisations from time to time produce similar information, the Ministry of Commerce is the only organisation in New Zealand which produces such authoritative and comprehensive information of this kind. The Energy Outlook will be of great value to the industry and all those with an interest in the energy sector," Mr Hodgson said.

"Under the Ministry's baseline scenario, and assuming energy markets work efficiently, the prices of electricity, gas, oil and coal to end consumers are projected to stay at around current levels, in real terms.

"Around 2200MW of new electricity generating capacity is projected to become economic by 2020. This is a fairly modest amount compared with the 1100MW commissioned in the three years to 2000. However, the baseline scenario has much of the additional capacity being provided by coal-fired plant, and this is something which could potentially be affected by new climate change policy initiatives.

"In the baseline scenario with 3% pa GDP growth, consumer energy grows by about 1.1% pa through to 2020. This gives a significant decline in energy intensity (ratio of energy use to GDP).

"However, New Zealand's economy is relatively energy intensive and the more energy used, the greater the adverse local and global environmental impacts.

"The Energy Outlook is based on the policies put in place by the previous Government, and should be viewed as a starting point. I will be working hard to influence these outcomes for the good.

"In particular I will be giving special attention to enhancing energy efficiency since this can benefit both consumers through lower energy costs, and help protect the environment, including by limiting the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."

ENDS

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