Having my say on NZ’s Draft Energy Strategy

Thanks to WWF and Greenpeace I have been able to make a quick submission on the Government’s visionless Draft Energy Strategy.

Submissions are due by Thursday 2 September at 5pm.

My submission:

Please accept the following as my submission on the draft Energy Strategy and draft Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy for New Zealand.

I wish to make a number of general comments.

The Draft Energy Strategy is an inadequate and inappropriate response to the challenge of tackling climate change and to providing a sustainable, clean and secure energy future for New Zealand.  There is no plan to protect New Zealanders from the rising costs of oil in the future, nor to set us on a path to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

The stated goal of 90 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 will not be achieved by this strategy, which fails to provide clear policy goals and incentives.

New Zealand must start real work on achieving a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (on 1990 levels) by 2020. This has to include mandatory emission reductions, and a renewable energy strategy that supports the development of resources like wind, marine, geothermal, biomass and solar.

I therefore call on the Government to:

  • Shift the priorities in the draft strategy towards research, development and greater use of new clean energy technologies and away from fossil fuels (coal and oil). New Zealand has the potential to be a world leader in the development and use of home-grown biofuels.
  • Set out a clear strategy for facilitating a transition away from New Zealand’s current reliance on petrol and diesel for transport. Initial priorities should include expanding public transport in order to provide real alternatives when oil prices rise, and introducing fuel economy regulations (as has been done in several other countries) to gradually make cars sold in New Zealand more efficient.
  • Set out a clear strategy and progress indicators for achieving the goal of 90% renewable electricity generation by 2025. Policies such as ‘feed-in-tariffs’ should be implemented to achieve the desired goal of increased local electricity generation.
  • Clearly state that coal-fired energy generation will not be expanded. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) may not become viable and will almost certainly not be in place during the life of this strategy. Expanding coal-fired energy generation over the next 5 to 10 years therefore not only runs counter to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions but would also be a risky and potentially obsolete investment.

Your sincerely,

Pippa Coom

Emailed to: nzes@med.govt.nz

Further reading

Have your say on NZ’s energy future. More information here on Lynda Brendish’s Good Magazine blog.

More details about the strategy and how to make a submission here on the MED website.