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90% renewables right for NZ’s economy

90% renewables right for NZ’s economy

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association welcomes the Government’s continued commitment to its target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025 in the draft New Zealand Energy Strategy.

“The quality and extent of our natural renewable resources provides New Zealand with a secure and cost-competitive supply of electricity,” says Fraser Clark, NZWEA’s Chief Executive. “The 90% target will help ensure this remains the case long into the future, enabling New Zealand to extend its economic advantage of globally competitive electricity prices.

“Electricity prices have increased significantly in recent years on the back of rising natural gas prices. Increasing use of renewables such as wind energy, which has no fuel or carbon emissions costs, is helping to check these rising prices.

“Many other countries around the world are turning to renewable generation in an effort to obtain the benefits that New Zealand is already achieving,” notes Mr Clark. Last week the United Nations released two reports showing that global investment in renewables now exceeds that for conventional sources. Wind energy accounts for around 60% of global utility-scale renewables investment.

“Despite this level of investment most countries will not achieve the same advantage open to New Zealand as they have limited and lower quality renewable resources. “In New Zealand, wind generation has increased 10-fold since 2003, helping lift total renewable generation to recent highs of over 70%. With four wind farms currently under construction, together with other new and planned renewable projects, New Zealand is making progress towards the 90% target and the rewards that it brings to the economy and the environment.

“Already we are seeing that competition has increased in the retail electricity sector, in some part due to recent investment in new wind and geothermal generation. Investment in new projects also creates jobs and spurs economic activity in regional economies,” says Mr Clark.

The Energy Strategy identifies completing the development of the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation as important for achieving the 90% target in an environmentally responsible manner.

“The NPS should help local councils and RMA decision makers to ensure that new renewable generation is developed in a way that balances local environmental effects with the benefits renewables bring to electricity consumers and the local and national economies,” concludes Mr Clark.

ENDS

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