Energy Minister announces measures to achieve carbon neutrality

In an address to the oil and gas sector at last week’s Petroleum Conference, Energy Minister Megan Woods announced a raft of measures designed to support the government’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity generation in a normal hydrological year, by 2035, and a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

Minister Woods announced that the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund and Green Investment Fund will invest billions of dollars in local infrastructure and clean energy projects to support innovation to create new jobs in new industries.

She also announced the Government’s plans to increase NZ’s level of research and development to 2% of GDP, via the introduction of a research and development tax incentive that will allow companies to claim back on their research and development costs.

She did acknowledge that existing natural gas permits would remain in place, with approximately ten years of natural gas consented for drilling, and potentially many more years that could be discovered under existing exploration permits. Some of these permits run as late as 2046, she noted.

Minister Woods did not, however, make any announcement regarding Block Offer 2018, and reiterated that decisions around future block offers would be shaped by the government’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2015.