Consenting improvements for renewable electricity generation and transmission

Submissions closed: 01 June 2023, 5pm

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment along with the Ministry for the Environment is asking for feedback on proposals to strengthen government direction for consenting renewable electricity infrastructure.

Why the changes are needed

The Government has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and set a target that 50% of total energy consumption will come from renewable sources by 2035. The government also has an aspirational target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030.

Meeting our emissions targets will require a rapid and efficient expansion of renewable electricity such as wind and solar generation. We will need to boost renewable electricity generation by 170% by 2050 to support increased electricity demand from the transition away from emissions-intensive fuels to renewable alternatives. Significant expansion and upgrade of other parts of the electricity network will also be required to enable this renewable electricity to reach customers.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), alongside the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), is consulting on proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation and the National Policy Statement for Electricity Transmission under the Resource Management Act (RMA). 

The proposals focus on strengthening the current national policy statements for renewable electricity generation and transmission to provide a consenting process that is more efficient, certain and environmentally sustainable. 

The proposals are being developed separately to the wider resource management reforms and aim to support council decision making by providing clearer direction on the need to significantly increase renewable generation to meet New Zealand’s international climate commitments. This consultation seeks feedback on options to help to resolve competing interests with other matters of national significance and how to explicitly factor in the principles of Te Tiriti.

About the proposed changes

The government is proposing to strengthen the national direction on renewable electricity generation and transmission under the RMA across the following key areas:

MBIE is also seeking feedback on options for proposals relating to grid-connected battery storage, high voltage electricity network assets, and appropriate consent lapse periods.

The government is asking for feedback from Māori, local government, the renewable electricity sector, NGOs and the public to ensure the proposed changes will work to support greater development of renewable generation.

Following public consultation, MBIE and MfE will analyse the submissions and undertake further work to develop recommendations to the Minister of Energy and Resources and the Minister for the Environment.

This is a summary of the proposed changes only. Please refer to the consultation document for more detailed information.

Last updated: 20 April 2023