Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman Regional Energy Transition Accelerator

Publication date: December 2023

Benefits for Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman

A Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman specific decarbonisation pathway will enable:

  • A view of biomass resource availability and the potential volumes, costs and demand for bioenergy.
  • Early insights for decision makers to improve efficiency and future proof infrastructure investments.
  • Coordinating infrastructure and streamlining electricity demand for the future.
  • Best use of information sharing to encourage demand flexibility through collaboration.

About the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman RETA

A total of 38 sites – spanning the dairy, meat, industrial and commercial sectors are covered by the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman RETA. These sites either have process heat equipment larger than 500kW or are sites for which EECA has detailed information about their decarbonisation pathway. Collectively, these sites consume 998TJ of process heat energy, primarily from coal, and currently produce 88kt per year of CO2e emissions. RETA aims to eliminate as much of these process heat emissions as possible.

The focus of the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman report – the culmination of phase one of the RETA programme, is the fuel switching decision and the key role demand reduction plays in enabling fuel switching. Both biomass and electricity are considered as potential fuel sources.

RETA also recognises the importance of demand reduction and thermal efficiency measures for reducing energy consumption and right sizing the boiler investment, which in turn affects decision-making around fuel switching.

The report illustrates a range of decarbonisation pathways, all of which demonstrate how the combined decisions of a range of process heat users may lead to common infrastructure challenges and opportunities from a supply perspective. Across the 38 sites, there are 76 individual projects across demand reduction, heat pumps and fuel switching. The 'MAC Optimal' pathway sees fuel decisions that result in 28% of the energy needs supplied by electricity and 72% supplied by biomass in 2036.

North Canterbury pathways.
Emissions reduction pathway – electricity vs biomass demands. Source: EECA

Insights explored in the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman report:

  • The key role demand reduction and heat pumps play in the fuel switching decision and infrastructure investment.
  • Security of electricity supply and the impact of different pathway scenarios on electricity demand.
  • Timeframes for decarbonisation under different pathway scenarios, that is:

The ‘BAU’ decarbonisation pathway, which uses the project timings in the individual ETAs (or 2036 where unavailable), is the slowest decarbonisation path. Most emissions reductions are assumed to occur in 2036.

The ‘MAC’ optimal pathway suggests 85% of emission reduction projects can be cost neutral by 2026.

  • The significant potential of biomass as part of the local mix and the work needed to be undertaken with forest owners to understand the logistics, space and equipment needed for harvesting residues.
  • The potential for process heat users considering electrification to reduce the costs of connection and electricity, by enabling flexibility in their consumption.
  • The optimisation of infrastructure investment, capacity, and timing.

Read the report

Download the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman RETA report and discover the regional benefits of decarbonisation.

Read the summary report [PDF 1.7 MB]

Spare Electrical Capacity and Load Characteristics [PDF 4.6 MB]

Supplementary Electricity Information [PDF 13 MB]

The RETA report builds on the lessons learned from energy efficiency and fuel switching work already underway in the region – particularly in the horticultural and viticultural sectors.

Nicki Sutherland, Group Manager Business, EECA

Next steps and support

EECA is happy to hear from anyone wanting to support the implementation of recommendations in the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman RETA report.

Email  or with any questions.

Learn more about EECA co-funding and support

Image credits

Maruia River Retreat, taken by Bare Kiwi.

Sunset at Vineyard, taken by Oliver Weber.

Nelson Tasman New Zealand(external link)