New Zealand Energy Strategy
The Government is developing the New Zealand Energy Strategy to support the transition to a low emissions economy, address strategic challenges in the energy sector, and signal pathways away from fossil fuels.
Energy is essential to Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy. It is used in transport, electricity, for heating, and by industry – and is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of our people, communities, and livelihoods.
In 2020, emissions from energy made up 40% of our total gross emissions. We will need to do things differently if we are to create a sustainable energy system for generations to come.
The Government’s 2050 vision for energy and industry is for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a highly renewable, sustainable, and efficient energy system that is accessible and affordable, secure and reliable, and supports New Zealanders’ wellbeing.
It has committed to reaching net zero for long-lived gases by 2050, set a target that 50% of total energy consumption will come from renewable sources by 2035, and has an aspirational target of 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
A significant amount of work has already taken place in the energy sector that we now need to build on.
A cohesive and enduring Energy Strategy will chart a path for the energy sector to make the essential changes Aotearoa New Zealand needs to make to decarbonise, while ensuring that steps are coordinated across the whole energy system.
The terms of reference for the Strategy set out MBIE’s scope, objectives, and approach.
Developing the New Zealand Energy Strategy
Work on the Strategy is well underway, as we move through phase 1 of our work programme by exploring what's possible in our energy future.
The purpose of this first phase is to lay the groundwork to foster a shared understanding of the energy system in Aotearoa New Zealand, in terms of its potential, limitations, and opportunities.
This means collaborating with industry, major consumers and Māori to explore key areas of the Strategy – including ensuring energy affordability and equity; using energy more efficiently and managing demand; reducing emissions and energy use in industry; ensuring the electricity system is ready to meet future needs; and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels while supporting the transition to low emissions fuels.
Opportunities to get involved
We're committed to developing the Energy Strategy through a consultative and collaborative process until the Strategy is finalised. Bringing New Zealanders along on the journey of developing the Strategy will mean its proposed direction for New Zealand’s energy system is more likely to be well–planned, widely understood, and lasting.
Throughout 2023, we’ll be talking with a wide range of stakeholders who hold the knowledge and expertise we need to inform our initial thinking for the energy transition.
We’ll be testing our current thinking around the key opportunities to seize and challenges to address, as well as identifying and filling the unknowns in our research and evidence base. We are also seeking input on our collective values and priorities – so we can develop criteria for what success looks like – and asking for feedback about our modelling approaches and assumptions. We will be actively reaching out to people as and when their input is most valuable.
After our first phase of targeted engagement has completed – we’ll release our thinking to date in a discussion document and seek feedback from across Aotearoa New Zealand through public consultation.
Nearer the time, we’ll provide more information on how everyone can get involved, share their views, and participate in consultation.
This means that – by the end of our process – all New Zealanders will have been invited to provide their feedback on the next steps for our energy system. This will allow us to check the right direction to take us forward, and get input on the big trade–offs that all New Zealand will collectively have to make.
To keep informed of those opportunities and to receive updates on the progress of the New Zealand Energy Strategy, please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have your say on advancing New Zealand’s energy transition
There is an ambitious and comprehensive programme of work underway to transition Aotearoa New Zealand to a more renewable energy system. The New Zealand Energy Strategy will build on these underlying workstreams and align policies and projects. This will ensure there is a coordinated approach to charting the path for the overarching energy transition.
In late 2023, we sought feedback on policy that will set the direction and pace of change for energy in New Zealand. These pieces of work link into our broader development of the Strategy and will play a key role in how we shape it.
The consultations included:
- a plan for managing the gas industry’s transition to a low emissions future
- the Interim Hydrogen Roadmap, which sets out the Government’s initial views on the future role of hydrogen in New Zealand, actions it is taking to support hydrogen uptake and areas for further consideration
- regulations to enable offshore renewable energy development
- market measures to ensure electricity is affordable, reliable and resilient as we transition to an expanded and more renewable electricity system
- how we will implement the Government’s commitment to ban new fossil fuel baseload electricity generation.
Consultation closed on 2 November 2023.
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