EECA welcomes policy statement on renewable electricity

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has welcomed the release of the National Policy Statement (NPS) for Renewable Electricity Generation.

"Renewable electricity is good for the economy and good for the environment," EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said.

"These benefits are articulated in the NPS so that they can be considered in all Resource Management Act consenting and planning processes."

"This policy direction will help achieve the Government's target of sourcing 90% of New Zealand's electricity from renewable sources by 2025, provided security of supply is maintained. Last year 74% of electricity was from renewable sources."

The National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation released by the Minister for the Environment Hon Dr Nick Smith makes it clear that generating electricity using renewable energy resources is of national significance. It must be considered in RMA resource consent applications and must be provided for in drawing up RMA policy statements and plans.

One of the major benefits of renewable electricity is its ability to meet electricity demand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. Using natural resources rather than finite resources, and avoiding reliance on imported fuels to generate electricity are also important benefits highlighted in the NPS. An increase in New Zealand's renewable electricity supply will also contribute to security of supply and electricity system resilience by ensuring that generation options are varied in type and location.

"Using renewable electricity also has a number of wider benefits," Mike Underhill said.

"It reduces New Zealand's climate change impact, improves our ability to meet international climate change obligations, and provides a branding opportunity for our exports.

"EECA has been making submissions for councils to recognise the national significance of renewable electricity for a number of years. We are pleased to see this has now been formalised in the NPS, and we look forward to seeing these benefits recognised through local plans."