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Priority Given to Renewable Electricity

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister for the Environment

12 April 2011

Media Statement

Priority Given to Renewable Electricity

The Government today announced its National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation under the Resource Management Act to encourage investment in wind, geothermal, hydro, and tidal power.

“This National Policy Statement is about Government recognising the importance of renewable energy and will help New Zealand meet its targets of 90% renewable electricity by 2025 and 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Dr Smith said.

“New Zealand’s electricity emissions have increased 122% since 1990 despite a Kyoto commitment to stabilise them at 1990 levels. Policy failed badly during the last decade when coal-generated power doubled and the Labour Government intervened to build new gas and diesel plants. The NPS on Renewable Electricity Generation is part of a plan to reverse this negative trend.

“The NPS requires local authorities to recognise the importance of new renewable generation for New Zealand in their resource management plans and consent decisions. The result will be more consistent and pragmatic rules that will encourage investment in renewable energy.

“The Government is determined that New Zealand better utilises its extensive wind, geothermal, hydro and tidal energy resources. In our first year we streamlined the consent process. In our second year we introduced the amended Emissions Trading Scheme that provides a clear price signal and competitive advantage for renewables. Our third step this year is the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation. I am confident these policy changes will stimulate a new era of investment in renewable electricity generation in New Zealand.”

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