Survey highlights the rise of energy system uncertainty

The World Energy Council's World Energy Issues Monitor 2017, including the fourth annual energy issues map for New Zealand, shows New Zealand's energy sector is not immune to the growing global and domestic energy system uncertainty. It's keeping our energy executives awake at night.

"Looking at the updated New Zealand issues map it is increasingly obvious that a new energy system is upon us," says Hon David Caygill, Chair of the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC).

Electric storage, innovative transport, the climate framework and market design and digitalisation are now closely clustered in the top right hand quadrant of the map highlighting the likely high impact survey respondents have attached to them.

But what is less obvious is what the change will be and how policy makers and businesses will respond to the increasingly rapid emergence of new market opportunities and business models, says Hon David Caygill.

This even affects issues which in previous years have traditionally been those that energy executives simply got on with - renewable energies and energy efficiency. These usually stable issues are increasing in uncertainty.

In a post-Paris Agreement world, energy executives and policy makers are more and more grappling with an uncertain future of a new innovative energy market as well as how to respond to the increasingly certain low carbon direction of travel in their investments and policy settings.

One thing is clear – energy resilience – the challenges it creates and the new and innovative policy, finance and consumer responses to achieve it – are weighing on the minds of New Zealand energy executives in both the public and private sectors.

David Caygill says uncertainty is why the BEC commenced its scenarios work in 2014. Scenarios help us think about the risks and opportunities different futures might hold and allow us to make better informed, more robust decisions.

The ever-changing nature of New Zealand's energy system highlights the importance of policy stability and the need for predictable long term settings that will deliver balanced policy across the dimensions of environmental sustainability, affordability and energy security. This will give businesses the confidence to continue to invest and create jobs.

2017 World Energy Issues Monitor
2017 New Zealand Energy Issue Monitor

Contact David Caygill 027 432 5228
John Carnegie 021 375 061

About the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC)
The BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) is a group of New Zealand organisations taking on a leading role in creating a sustainable energy future for New Zealand. The BEC is the New Zealand Member Committee of the World Energy Council (WEC). All BEC members are automatically members of the WEC.

About the World Energy Council (WEC)
The World Energy Council's network of 100 national committees represents over 3,000 member organisations including governments, industry and expert institutions, with the mission of promoting the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all.

The 2017 Energy Issues Monitor
The World Energy Issues Monitor provides a snapshot of what keeps CEOs, Ministers and experts awake at night in over 90 countries. The monitor helps to define the world energy agenda and its evolution over time. It provides a high-level perception of what constitute issues of critical uncertainty, in contrast to those that require immediate action or act as developing signals for the future. It is an essential tool for understanding the complex and uncertain environment in which energy leaders must operate, and a tool through which one can challenge own assumptions on the key drivers within the energy landscape. This eighth iteration of the monitor is based on insights provided by more than 1,200 energy leaders to provide over 35 national assessments across six regions.