Report charts course for deeper and faster emissions reductions

The Boston Consulting Group says moving the country to 98% renewable electric power by 2030 will lead to emissions reductions faster than those proposed by the Commission on Climate Change.
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The country should invest $42 billion in new electricity generation, distribution, storage and other technologies by the end of the decade to decarbonize the economy faster, according to a new report.

The Boston Consulting Group has been commissioned by the big four power producers and several line companies to examine future options.

He said he took a “holistic” approach to further and faster reducing emissions and developing renewable electricity.

He said moving the country to 98% renewable electric power by 2030 would lead to emissions reductions faster than those proposed by the Commission on Climate Change.

“Deep and rapid decarbonization at the lowest cost to consumers relies on rapid production of renewable energy generation,” the report states.

This would mean overproduction of renewables, greater use of battery storage and some residual use of coal and gas-fired power plants, which would increase prices, but the impact on household bills would be limited by an efficiency increased energy.

The report’s $42 billion estimate was made up of $10.2 billion in large-scale renewable generation, $1.9 billion in flexible generation to meet peak demand and dry years, 8 $.2 billion for network transmission, including a new Cook Strait cable, and $22 billion for local distribution.

“Our modeling shows that it makes economic sense for New Zealand to achieve 98% renewable electricity by 2030. This, combined with accelerating the electrification of transport and heat, will reduce emissions of 8.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2030.”

He said these goals were achievable if investment incentives favored renewable projects, if foreign investors were brought in to finance these projects, if investment was ahead of the need for renewable projects rather than “just in time “, and if planning laws allowed for faster approval of projects.

The report predicted lesser roles for biomass and hydrogen in the short term at least, while indicating that the discussed development of pumped storage from Lake Onslow in the South Island, currently under consideration by the government, presented advantages but also disadvantages.

A major step towards electrifying the economy would be through more electric vehicles, with a suggested goal of 1 million by 2030, more than doubling that goal by 2040, and another doubling by 2050.

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