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Report highlights risks to energy security

A Transpower report laying out the challenges that come with relying on electricity for our energy supply underlines the folly of the Government’s rushed decision to stop offshore petroleum exploration, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The Transpower report points out the potentially massive costs involved in replacing our fossil fuel usage with electricity across the economy, and the risks of intermittent supply because of the nature of our electricity generation,” Mr Young says.

“We’ll need to build more than double the existing level of generation. This is the equivalent of 22 Clyde Dams by 2050 to meet the increased demand, we’ll have to massively upgrade our transmission system, and our energy supply will face risks.

“That means one thing – much higher power prices are coming.

Mr Young says the report comes hard on the heels of another from MBIE saying we only have ten years of depleting gas reserves.

“It’s disappointing that the Government’s decision was made without the benefit which highlights how irresponsible the decision-making process has been. They should have fed into a decision on where we are going on oil and gas, not the other way around.

“The Government’s announcement of no new offshore exploration and a review of any new onshore exploration in three years is already chilling investment plans due to raised sensitivity around sovereign risk.

“We know the policy is not going to reduce carbon emissions at all. And now we have increasing evidence that it will significantly damage our hard-won energy security.

“It is not only an own goal for the Government, it’s an own goal for New Zealand.

“What we need is a planned transition that manages energy demand and supply into to a low emission future, but at a pace that doesn’t destroy business confidence and our economic future in a single Parliamentary term.”

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