New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s (center) Labour Party has vowed to have the country reach 100% renewable energy powered electricity system by 2030 if it wins October 2020 elections. (Photo Credit: New Zealand Labour/Twitter)
- New Zealand’s Labour Party will aim for 2030 to achieve the 100% renewable energy target for the country, 5 years ahead of its original target
- Efforts will be made to remove regulatory or market barriers to investment in rooftop solar generation for residential and commercial buildings
- It will accelerate electrification of transport and industrial sectors, while banning new thermal baseload generation
- The party bets heavily on green hydrogen, exporting it to other countries under strategic partnerships
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The ruling Labour Party in New Zealand has promised to prepone the country’s renewable energy target achievement date by 5 years to 2030 if it comes to power after October 2020 elections. The country’s current Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand needs stable, sustainable and affordable energy to ensure its future energy needs.
First things first. For solar power, the manifesto says the new government under Labour will remove regulatory or market barriers to investment in solar generation with a view to promoting solar micro-generation for residential and commercial buildings. This can help it reach the 100% renewable energy aim. Currently, the country gets 84% of its electricity from renewable energy sources primarily hydro, geothermal and wind power, however ‘as a proportion of all energy only 40% is renewable’.
According to the brief out from the Labour Party, efforts will be made to accelerate the electrification of transport and industrial sectors while also further investments made in emerging technologies as green hydrogen that can fetch it a premium in the international market. It will also explore strategic partnerships with other countries in the field of green hydrogen.
The government wants to push for clean energy development and banning new thermal baseload generation and stop other activities that increase emissions.
It will also come out with a new National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation which it explains will improve certainty for developers of new renewable electricity generation by providing guidance to local authorities when consenting such projects, including solar to speed up the process.
There were no more details shared in the plan except that there will be NZD 70 million ($47 million) investment to accelerate a potential dry year storage solution such as pumped hydro at Lake Onslow.
“The COVID-19 economic recovery represents a once in a generation opportunity to reshape New Zealand’s energy system to be more renewable faster, affordable and secure,” said Ardern. “Investment in renewable energy is also jobs rich. Our plan will create new jobs and develop the high skill workforce our future economy needs to thrive.”
The clean energy plan as proposed by the Labour Party can be viewed on its website.