Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On track for failure on renewable energy

Back in 2007, Helen Clark committed New Zealand to a target of 90% renewable electricity generation by 2025. When they were elected in 2008, National adopted this target and included it in their national energy strategy. But according to MBIE's newly released Electricity Demand and Supply Generation Scenarios 2016, we will fail to meet that target.

The EDGS includes five basic scenarios: "mixed renewables" (the base case), "high grid" (high demand coupled with low oil and carbon prices - the dirty future), "global low carbon" (what it says on the label), "disruptive" (with high uptake of solar PV) and "Tiwai off" (again, what it says on the label". In none of those scenarios do we meet the renewable energy target. None of them. The best we do is 89% in the low-carbon scenario (which means we might make it if the weather is good), and 88% if we shut down Tiwai Point. Some scenarios show us meeting the target after 2030, but most don't.

Which is what happens if you have targets without policy. Labour had policies - a thermal ban and a working ETS - to achieve this target. National dismantled those policies. Pretty obviously, they don't care what happens in 2025 (or 2030, or 2050, to pick some other years they've stuck targets on) - even if they're in power (and who knows, three elections away) their current Ministers will be long-gone by then. So we get targets without policy, and government without responsibility. Just another example of how National's vaunted targets are just another bullshit PR exercise...