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Ministerial address: Future of the energy sector, new energy


The Hon Dr Megan Woods will open the NZ Downstream energy conference on Tuesday next week. In her first major address to the energy sector since taking the role, all eyes will be focused on the new Minister of Energy and Resources for clues about the new government’s electricity market review. The scope of this review could have major implications for the sector, and ultimately consumers.

Over 400 delegates will be attending the energy sector’s annual 2-day conference ‘Downstream’ in Auckland on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (March 13-14) at the SkyCity Convention Centre. The electricity and gas industry is coming together to discuss the new world of energy opportunity, and what this means for New Zealand. Topics such as decarbonisation, solar power, battery storage the Internet of Things and EVs are a big focus, each with huge potential to change the way people consume and pay for energy. More and more consumers are generating and storing their own power, both residential and commercial, which is blending an increasingly distributed grid with the existing centralised grid. It means the industry has to evolve with the technology to deliver the best outcomes for customers and the energy system.

Utility Chief Executives and international experts will be discussing some of the biggest opportunities and challenges for utilities going forwards. Sector leaders speaking at Downstream include:

• Victoria Crone – Callaghan Innovation
• Neal Barclay - Meridian Energy
• Nigel Barbour – Powerco
• Rob Jamieson – Orion
• Fraser Whineray – Mercury

The Hon James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, will provide a Ministerial Address at the start of Day Two (Weds 14 March). The governments’ Zero Carbon Act and plans to establish an independent climate commission are front of mind for delegates. The Minister’s address will precede a much anticipated report on getting the electricity sector to very low emissions by 2050. More information may be found on the event website www.nzdownstream.co.nz .

Downstream is run as a joint venture between Energy News and Conferenz.

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