Energy targets signal a fundamental shift in economy

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Energy targets signal a fundamental shift in economy

20 Sep 2016 | BusinessNZ

New Zealand is on the cusp of a fundamental transition in how we produce and use energy as the Government looks to set energy targets to shift the economy, says the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC).

"Given the rapid uptake of new technologies, growing uncertainty and the increasing interconnectedness across the sector, it is imperative we get these targets right even if they are aspirational," says the Hon David Caygill, Chair of the BEC.

"Planning for the future is never easy. We don't have a crystal ball and don't know what technological innovations could evolve to enable the future we want. That's why the BEC has done a deep-dive into its two 2050 energy scenarios on energy targets, with a second due out early next year on energy sector emissions.

"Our scenarios are not the only commentary on the possible futures we face, but the aim of the deep-dive is to enable a more informed, richer conversation as the Government considers what energy targets to set for: energy productivity (GDP per unit of energy consumed), proportion of primary energy supply that is renewable, and the proportion of electricity consumption that is renewable.

"By using scenarios we can begin to think about the spectrum of actions that New Zealand can take, recognising the global context, as we chart our energy future.

"New Zealand is a world leader in renewable electricity, but how do we achieve the rapid uptake of new technologies, high economic growth and deliver on the environmental goals all New Zealanders aspire to, while keeping the economy resilient to a range of future outcomes?

"We have opportunities to improve in transport and industrial heat, but it is vital that we think practically and cohesively about our whole energy system. Our scenarios promote flexibility in our energy pathway by maximising our choices and opportunities for new technology and innovation.

"With an economy heavily driven by trade, the cost of our choices impacts our domestic growth and international competitiveness.  If we get the targets right today, and back them with clear, durable and robust policy frameworks, we will unlock the investment required to deliver on New Zealand's future energy needs."

More information on the BEC2050 Scenarios, along with the scenario deep-dives, can be found at http://www.bec.org.nz/projects/deep-dive-energy-targets

Contact: Hon. David Caygill 027 432 5228 or John Carnegie 021 375 061

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