Initial Comments on NZ Energy Strategy
Comment on NZEStrategy:
Molly Melhuish, energy analyst
The Strategy does little to support the aspirational goal of the Prime Minister, to move New Zealand towards a carbon-neutral economy. Yet this is entirely possible, and would make the New Zealand economy robust to any increased obligations as climate change impacts worsen.
The three guiding principles are excellent. Sustainable energy experts need to consult actively, and soon, to describe the key technologies and economic mechanisms to promote them. These include small-scale electricity generation, and use of wood residues for heat in the home and in small boilers in schools and small industries.
The Strategy envisions a transition to "polluter pays" for carbon emissions, no faster than our competitors. This is a cloudy vision indeed, as New Zealand could better afford to reduce its emissions than almost any other country. It could give us the most robust competitive advantage of any energy strategy - it would future-proof all our economic development.
The most important economic mechanism for promoting small-scale energy options is smart metering in households and small /medium enterprises. Regrettably, the Strategy recognises the value of smart metering, but has no action points to promote the implementation of smart meters.