An updated modelling tool will help businesses and organisations grappling with climate change make better-informed decisions about energy use.

EECA, (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) in partnership with Business NZ Energy Council (BEC) and Paul Scherrer Institute Switzerland (PSI), has launched the updated New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0.

EECA and BEC say this model is an addition to the suite of available modelling tools looking at potential energy scenarios in New Zealand and how they impact on carbon emissions.

EECA’s Evidence and Insights Manager Kate Kolich says the New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0 developed by EECA, BEC and PSI builds on the previous model BEC2060, adding more detail and sophistication to sectors, subsectors, technologies and end uses. TIMES modelling is used in over 60 countries and is based on the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program (IEA ETSAP) TIMES modelling framework (The Integrated MARKAL-EFOM System), enabling the updated New Zealand Energy Scenarios to blend global best practice with local insight, Kate Kolich says.

She says the updated New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0 allows for comparison of emissions outcomes modelled on strict economic rationality.

“TIMES-NZ scenarios are not predictions about the future or an attempt to pick winners – they show energy and emissions scenarios in five-year timesteps based on data and assumption inputs.”

“This work adds to the ecosystem of available modelling tools to help decision makers address climate change,” Kate Kolich says.

BEC executive director Tina Schirr says the model presents two contrasted scenarios which explore possible energy futures.

Tina Schirr says the scenarios are by no means prescriptive pathways.

“They help us to think about the uncertainties facing the energy sector, like accelerating deeper and affordable decarbonisation, future mobility but also energy security, in a structured and methodical way.”

"Transformation is on the horizon and New Zealand needs to develop a clear plan of what it might be that we will be selling to the rest of the world as we move into a low carbon economy.”

Insights from New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0

  • Most of NZ’s energy emissions can be eliminated by 2050 using existing technologies.
  • New technologies may be needed to address remaining emissions in hard-to-abate sectors such as aviation, shipping and fishing.
  • Road transport becomes almost entirely fossil-fuel free, with the light vehicle fleet becoming almost completely electric by 2055 at the latest.
  • Energy efficiency is critical, with adoption of more efficient technologies such as EVs and heat pumps resulting in significantly decreased energy consumption. For example, road transport energy use per distance travelled reduces by nearly 80% because of EV adoption.

The full results of the New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0 are available in an interactive open data app

New Zealand Energy Scenarios TIMES-NZ 2.0