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Update on Draft Energy Strategy – addendum to "Stern words & core truths: climate change back on the front-burner"

13 December 2006

Energy Strategy update

The Government released the Draft New Zealand Energy Strategy on 11 December 2006, after this issue of Counsel had gone to print. The Draft Strategy’s stated aims are to move toward a sustainable low emissions energy system by maximising the proportion of energy that comes from renewable sources without compromising the security of supply.

The Draft Strategy offers clear direction, but leaves many of the hard questions unanswered. The following topics are likely to be the subject of debate as the Government develops its energy policies:

  • Carbon Pricing. The Draft Strategy offers range of options to transition to a cost on greenhouse gas emissions, including:
    • Emissions Trading
    • Carbon Charges
    • Renewable Obligations
    • Incentives/Subsidies
    • Projects
    • Direct Regulatory Options
    • Voluntary Measures

    These policy options could have significant economic consequences, depending on the path chosen. The Government has invited submissions on the Draft Strategy to provide you with an opportunity to make sure your interests are considered.

  • RMA Processes. The Draft Strategy offers ideas about streamlining RMA processes, including a proposed "consolidated" consenting process for wind and geothermal projects.

    The Draft Strategy leaves open the details of such an approach. An opportunity exists to participate in shaping the consenting process.

  • Supply Security. Renewable energy has a major role to play in the energy sector. But the right blend of energy sources must be maintained to keep the New Zealand energy system reliable and resilient.

    The Government is looking for input on how to provide a secure and affordable energy supply.

The Draft Strategy and related discussion papers on Transitional Measures and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Post 2012 are available at http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/ContentTopicSummary____19431.aspx.

Submissions close on 30 March 2007. Chapman Tripp is happy to assist in drafting submissions to ensure your ideas are heard.

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