10/08/2023·2 mins to read

Consultation opens on New Zealand’s energy future

Hot on the heels of this week's announcement of the NZ Net Zero Fund by the Government and BlackRock, MBIE yesterday launched a package of discussion documents consulting on the future of New Zealand’s energy system and net zero transition. 

Once finalised, the discussion documents will shape overarching energy strategy for critical aspects of the energy transition. Importantly, the documents include the role of hydrogen and offshore wind, as well as addressing phasing down of fossil fuels and enhancing the electricity system.  

The consultation is stated to support the Government’s work towards an overarching Aotearoa Energy Strategy, which is expected to be released in late 2024. The Energy Strategy is keenly awaited by renewable sector participants both domestically and internationally, whose investment decisions are driven partly by clear policy direction from Government, so the MBIE consultation provides some important initial signalling on New Zealand’s future strategy direction.

The key question underlying the consultation is when and how New Zealand will achieve its commitments to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, 50 per cent of total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2035, and an aspirational target of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

The consultation documents are:

  • An Interim Hydrogen Roadmap, setting out preliminary views on the potential role of hydrogen in New Zealand’s energy transition, including its use in hard-to-abate sectors and potential export markets.
  • An issues paper on the development of a regulatory framework for offshore renewable energy, setting out proposals for feasibility stages, construction, operations and decommissioning, as well as how the offshore renewable energy industry will interact with the environmental consenting regime.
  • An Electricity Market Measures issues paper discussing whether market measures are needed to support the electricity industry and to keep electricity affordable, reliable and resilient through the transition to an expanded and highly renewable electricity system.
  • A Gas Transition Plan issues paper, setting out key issues and opportunities while transitioning the gas industry to a low emissions future.
  • A discussion document on the design and implementation of the ban of new fossil-fuel baseload electricity generation.

MBIE is hosting a series of public webinars between 18-31 August for the purpose of providing an overview of the consultation documents (with Q&A).  Interested parties can register for these webinars on the MBIE website.

Consultation closes on Thursday 2 November at 5pm. We will be releasing an in-depth analysis of the consultation documents shortly, so please sign up for our updates (at the bottom of this webpage) to stay informed, or contact one of our experts below.


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