The Green Party is calling on the Government to set a goal of 100 percent renewable electricity generation or risk being left behind as industry leads the transition from dirty fossil fuel electricity generation to clean renewable power, the Green Party said today.
“The Government’s fossil fuel-focused energy strategy is looking out of touch and out of date following Contact’s announcement it is closing the Otahuhu B gas plant and Genesis’ announcement it will close the Huntly coal plant,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.
“It’s time to set a goal of 100 percent renewable electricity generation and build a plan to achieve the target.
“100 percent renewable electricity is achievable, affordable, and eminently desirable but it will take leadership from the Government.
“Other countries and states have adopted 100 percent renewable targets and New Zealand has a wealth of options to get there including wind and solar, and using existing energy more efficiently.
“We still have a long way to go to clean up our energy use, because only 40 percent of New Zealand’s primary energy use including transport fuel is from renewable sources.
“We need to plan for a just transition to a clean energy future – supporting workers as the nature of energy generation changes.
“Globally, clean energy jobs such as solar panel installation are growing exponentially and they can here too if the Government steps up and removes the barriers holding the solar industry back.
“As New Zealand moves on from the era of big fossil fuel-powered generators, we need to empower homes and businesses with the freedom to produce their own clean energy, through setting fair grid access conditions and feed-in tariffs.
“The Government can encourage a clean energy economy and household energy independence by supporting my Small Scale Renewable Distributed Generation members’ bill,” said Mr Hughes.