Is New Zealand aiming to reach 100% renewable generation?

The New Zealand government is set to collaborate with the U.S. investment giant BlackRock in its ambitious pursuit of making its electricity grid a global pioneer by relying entirely on renewable energy sources.

The government has unveiled plans to assist BlackRock in launching a substantial $1.2 billion fund dedicated to accelerating investments in wind and solar energy generation, battery storage solutions, and environmentally-friendly green hydrogen production. Notably, a portion of this investment is anticipated to originate from government-owned entities.

Having already achieved an impressive 82% reliance on renewable energy sources for its electricity grid, New Zealand initially harnessed hydroelectric power by damming rivers several decades ago. The government has now set its sights on the ultimate goal of achieving 100% renewable energy generation by the close of this decade.

“This is a first of its kind fund in the country that demonstrates the huge economic potential of New Zealand being a climate leader and our goal of generating 100% renewable electricity,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“It proves again that we can grow our economy while we lower emissions. This fund is a massive opportunity for New Zealand innovators to develop and grow companies.

“I’m absolutely stoked about what this means for Kiwi ingenuity in renewable energy; it shows that our ambitious climate targets have the world’s attention, and that they are good for the climate, good for the economy, and will help create highly skilled jobs.

“With countries around the world experiencing the impacts of climate change on a daily basis, it’s never been more urgent to invest in technology that will help address the climate crisis, and New Zealand is well positioned to be a home for that investment.

“Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods were reminders we must speed up our own climate action, and the fund will super charge investments in clean technology that might otherwise not have happened.

“This is a game changer for the clean tech sector and another example of the pragmatic and practical steps the Government is taking to accelerate climate action while growing our economy,” Chris Hipkins said.

“This fund will accelerate New Zealand’s emissions reductions, with a particular focus on our path to 100% renewable electricity, enabling our businesses to access greater pools of capital to develop and grow,” Megan Woods said.

“With record levels of renewable electricity generation in recent years, New Zealand is well-positioned to be one of the first countries in the world to deliver a fully renewable electricity system.

“Investors in the green economy can see our potential and recognise our commitment to climate commitments and goals, such as our banning of further offshore oil and gas exploration.

“New Zealand is now an investment magnet for capital that will unlock technology such as battery storage, wind and solar generation, green hydrogen production and more electric vehicle chargers across New Zealand.

“We’ve already made significant progress on New Zealand’s decarbonisation transition, partnering with the likes of NZ Steel and Fonterra to reduce emissions while retaining jobs here in New Zealand.

“The New Zealand net zero Fund will look to crowd in investment from Crown companies and entities, including superannuation funds, and private sector funds to accelerate New Zealand’s transition to 100% renewable electricity.

“This arrangement means we will get there faster, with opportunities for local investment in a low emissions economy. That will be a significant selling point for New Zealand businesses as consumers demand more sustainable products and services.

“The projects funded through investment in the New Zealand net zero Fund will not only decarbonise our energy use, but will also create highly-skilled jobs here in New Zealand, and opportunities to grow New Zealand companies,” Megan Woods said.

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