The aim of our Regional Energy Transition Accelerator (RETA) is to develop and share a well-informed and coordinated approach for regional decarbonisation.
RETA's focus is on understanding localised opportunities and barriers faced by industry when seeking to reduce emissions from process heat – the energy used for heat generation in manufacturing, and processing primary products. This currently makes up over a quarter of this country’s energy-related emissions.
A collaborative approach
The RETA programme involves working across medium and large energy users and those who supply energy to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial processes – including biomass producers and suppliers, renewable electricity providers, government, regional economic development agencies, Iwi and industry groups.
The RETA programme looks ahead. It builds on EECA’s Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) programme and Heat Plant Database Project (HPDP), which have highlighted that a number of barriers to reducing energy-related emissions can be best addressed at a regional level. Particularly those relating to fuel supply and infrastructure.
Through this programme we seek to connect demand and supply sides and provide the information needed to build a robust business case analysis to boost and accelerate business decarbonisation within a specific region.
To have confidence to move forward, process heat users and those involved in the supply of energy need a line of sight on renewable fuel choices, infrastructure upgrades and costs, and opportunities to work with other local businesses.
How RETA is applied
A RETA is completed in two stages – planning and implementation. Though there is expected to be some intersection.
The planning stage culminates in a regional report to:
- provide process heat users with coordinated information specific to the region to make more informed decisions on fuel choice and timing
- improve fuel supplier confidence to invest in supply side infrastructure
- surface issues, opportunities and recommendations.
Through collaboration, the implementation stage aims to:
- identify the regionally supported barriers or opportunities which could be addressed through government funding (i.e., the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund)
- support regional energy users and suppliers with committing to and fast-tracking decarbonisation projects, using the information from the planning stage.
Southland Regional Energy Transition Accelerator
The first RETA programme is focused on the Southland region. It has involved extensive collaboration with key energy users and suppliers – including Transpower, Powernet, iwi, local biomass suppliers and forest owners, Meridian and Simply Energy.
The programme builds on the good work that has been underway in decarbonisation by Southland businesses, economic development agency Great South and EECA, for many years.
Next steps for EECA
Over the next two years, EECA will progress RETAs across New Zealand’s regions. While it is primarily focussed on decarbonising process heat, future iterations may also consider transport charging infrastructure, new energy demands, and new electricity generation.