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New Model Results Explore Different Energy Futures For New Zealand

The BEC, EECA and PSI, have launched the New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0 to help leaders in government, businesses and academia make better informed decisions in a world where uncertainty is growing.

BEC executive director Tina Schirr says TIMES-NZ 2.0 explores possible energy futures based on two contrasted scenarios.

Kea represents a future in which climate change is seen as the most pressing issue, while Tui represents a future in which climate change is one of several competing priorities.

"They are by no means prescriptive pathways but help us to think about the uncertainties facing the energy sector, like accelerating deeper and affordable decarbonisation, future mobility but also energy security, in a structured and methodical way."

According to the new model results, under each scenario use of fossil fuel declines and energy emissions fall drastically, Tina Schirr says.

Overall, in both scenarios, demand for fossil fuels drops from around 63% of energy demand (excluding feedstocks) in 2018 to around 22% under Kea and 33% under Tui in 2050, and in some sectors, particularly road transport, food processing, and residential and commercial, falls to a small fraction of current levels.

"Transformation is on the horizon and Kiwi need to start thinking about what they might to sell to the rest of the world as we move into a low carbon economy."

Both scenarios make extensive use of energy efficiency, with adoption of more efficient technologies such as EVs and heat pumps resulting in significantly decreased energy consumption. For example, road transport energy use per distance travelled reduces by nearly 80% as a result of EV adoption. Both scenarios see a transition of the light fleet to almost entirely electric, Kea by 2050 and Tui by 2055.

Meanwhile, it is clear from the updated modelling new technologies are needed in some sectors to reach carbon zero, BEC says.

In both scenarios, most of the residual emissions are from sectors where the model did not have low emission technologies to choose from. About half of these residual emissions come from aviation, shipping, and fishing boats.

"While there are some known potential low emissions options in these areas, these were either not well defined enough to include in the model, or too expensive for the model to choose."

Link to the webpage: https://times.bec.org.nz/

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