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Renewable energy target for New Zealand

Tuesday, 30 April 2002

Achieving the Government’s renewable energy target for New Zealand would contribute significantly to a long-term downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions, says Energy Minister Pete Hodgson.

Along with its preferred policy package for climate change, the Government today announced a preferred national target of 30 Petajoules (PJ) of additional energy use a year from renewable sources. The target completes the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, most of which was released last year.

Mr Hodgson said achieving the target would lead to a 5 million tonne
reduction in CO2 emissions over the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period
of 2008-2012.

"New Zealand's sustainable energy future requires a balanced portfolio of
energy efficiency improvements and a transition to renewable energy sources,” Mr Hodgson said. “New Zealand has one of the highest proportions of renewable energy of any developed country, but we can secure further benefits from making more of the high quality renewable energy resources and skills available to us.

"The target of an additional 30 Petajoules a year is realistic, but a real challenge. While most of our electricity is renewable hydro, only 29 percent of our total energy supply is renewable and that proportion has been falling over recent years. This programme will reverse that decline and lift our proportion of renewable energy to 31 percent, and rising.

"New technologies in windpower, solar, biomass and other sources of renewable energy are exciting, and New Zealand is well positioned to take advantage. We need a carefully managed process to advance this issue, and the Government is proposing to take the lead with practical, targeted mechanisms. An example is a plan to increase the number of solar water heaters being installed in New Zealand houses sixfold, from less than 1500 units a year to 10,000.”

Full details of the target and mechanisms are in a consultation document available on www.eeca.govt.nz. Submissions are invited by 14 June.

Ends

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