Question Samira Science

Renewable Energy in New Zealand

What are some New Zealand government policies and schemes about renewable energy in New Zealand?

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Answer Expert #26314

New Zealand is one of the world leaders in renewable energy. Currently it is estimated that 40% of primary energy in New Zealand comes from renewable energy sources. With approximately 80% of the country’s electricity coming from renewable energy in the form of hydropower and geothermal power. This percentage has however been falling for decades as the increase in demand for energy could not be met by renewable energy alone and the nation has had to rely on natural gas stations to make up the difference. However in 2007 it was announced by the then Prime Minister that by 2025 the national target would be to have renewable energy being used for at least 90% of the country’s electricity. This aim is still viable and it is likely that wind energy will make up the majority of the difference alongside an increase in hydroelectric power stations.

As well as this the NZ government is also committed to utilising the drive towards renewable energy to improve its financial markets. The NZ Emissions Trading Scheme provides several price incentives for any businesses that reduce carbon emission. This has been emphasised by both the electricity market governance changes and the Resource Management Act reforms have adjusted governmental regulation to help facilitate investments to boost renewable energy.

The government also plays a key role in energy efficiency and industrial development by both providing incentives and information that help businesses remove barriers so they can develop cleaner and more effective energy sources. The Petroleum Action Plan outlined several initiatives that were designed to attract significant investment into NZs renewable energy sector. Finally the Warm up New Zealand Heat Smart home insulation and clean heating programme has provided home owners with the incentives they need to prioritise getting cleaner energy into their homes.