Consenting improvements for renewable electricity generation and transmission
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:
- Providing for the national significance of renewable electricity generation and electricity transmission.
We are proposing to strengthen existing direction to give greater emphasis to the national benefits of this infrastructure to meet New Zealand’s emissions reduction targets.
- Creating consent pathways where there are potential adverse effects on significant environmental values.
We are proposing to provide clear tools for assessing the suitability of renewable electricity infrastructure where there may be impacts on outstanding natural landscapes and features, the natural character of coastal environments, areas or habitats of significant indigenous biodiversity and historic heritage.
- Better enabling renewable electricity and transmission where there are potential adverse effects on other areas, including effects on local amenity.
We are proposing to enable renewable electricity generation activities where there may be adverse outcomes on areas such as noise, shadow, glare, or effects on the character of the area provided these effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated where practicable.
- Recognising and providing for Māori interests.
We are proposing to require consideration to be given to Māori interests as part of the consenting process for renewable electricity and transmission infrastructure, including through early engagement, protection of sites of significance, and through enabling small and community-scale renewable electricity generation.
- Upgrading and repowering existing wind and solar generation.
We are proposing to strengthen direction to highlight the benefits and efficiencies of upgrading and repowering existing wind and solar. We are also proposing to develop new national standards to improve consistency and efficiency in the management of adverse environmental impacts.
- Providing for small and community scale renewable electricity generation.
We are proposing to update the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation to better enable consenting, operation, maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure used to generate renewable electricity for residential use, small-scale onsite commercial use, or community benefit in recognition of the significant cumulative impact in meeting emissions targets and improving community wellbeing and energy resilience. We are also proposing to develop new national standards to improve consistency and efficiency in the management of adverse environmental impacts.
- Improving the workability and scope of the national environmental standard for electricity transmission activities.
We are proposing to update definitions, rules and conditions to enable activities with mainly visual effects and improve workability of the regulations.
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.
Published: 12 Apr 2023
A summary of the discussion document that reviews and proposes changes to strengthen the national direction on renewable electricity generation and electricity transmission.
Published: 12 Apr 2023
A discussion document that reviews and proposes changes to strengthen the national direction on renewable electricity generation and electricity transmission, as the most effective way to improve cons…
PDF, 2.1MB, 132 pages
Published: 20 Apr 2023
This document advises and seeks feedback on the policy and implementation of the proposed National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation (2023).
PDF, 298KB, 12 pages
Published: 20 Apr 2023
This document advises and seeks feedback on the policy and implementation of the proposed National Policy Statement for Electricity Transmission (2023).
PDF, 364KB, 10 pages
How to make a submission
The questions in this document are a guide only. You do not have to answer all the questions, and all comments are welcome.
To ensure others clearly understand your point of view, you should explain the reasons for your views and give supporting evidence if needed.
You can make a submission in 2 ways:
- Complete the survey — SurveyMonkey
- Write your own submission
When writing your own submission, please state “I have read and acknowledge the Privacy Statement.” which you can find at the bottom of this page.
If you are emailing your submission, send it to ElectricityRMA@mbie.govt.nz as a PDF or Microsoft Word document (2003 or later version).
If you are posting your submission, send it to:
Electricity RMA Project Team
MBIE Energy & Resource Markets
25 The Terrace, Wellington 6011
- the title of the consultation
- your name or organisation
- your postal address
- your email address
Submissions close 1 June 2023, 5pm.
We collect your personal information including full name, email address and place of employment (optional) in order to contact you if needed and understand the nature of your specific feedback. Personal information also relates to the opinions given in the survey, especially in free-text boxes. Providing some information is optional, you do not need to identify your place of work, however if you do not provide this information, we may not be able to understand your specialisation, if any, for the feedback given. We advise caution on the use of free-text boxes, please do not provide more personal information than is required for the purposes of this survey.
Besides MBIE staff, we may share this information with the Ministry for Environment, in line with the Privacy Act 2020 or as otherwise required or permitted by law. We keep your information safe by storing your responses in our secure, cloud-managed document management system. If this information is shared or published, we may need to edit comments to remove personal information. This information will be held by MBIE.
You have a right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you as a result of this survey, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of your information, or to have it corrected, please contact us at ElectricityRMA@mbie.govt.nz
Last updated: 20 April 2023