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Providing leadership in emissions reduction

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand businesses use some of the cleanest, most renewable, electricity in the world. Around 85 per cent of our electricity is already renewable. To increase this and help meet our carbon reduction challenge, we need to bring forward much of the already consented renewable generation or encourage new entrants into the generation market.

The Major Electricity Users’ Group has recently agreed to investigate accelerating the development of renewable electricity projects in New Zealand through providing a stable and bankable commercial platform for projects to be launched off, backed by companies who can do so.

It’s about large electricity users stepping up to provide leadership in emissions reductions, with the goal of delivering real reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade through the early development of new renewable energy projects. By stimulating new renewable generation, we estimate we could help reduce emissions by up to 500,000 tonnes a year.

Many MEUG members are energy-intensive, trade-exposed businesses. Twenty-eight per cent of all New Zealand’s electricity is used by the MEUG group who collectively employ over 25,000 employees, mostly in the regions. We’re committed to finding meaningful and practical solutions to our carbon reduction challenge and bringing these forward as quickly as possible.

MEUG expects to finish its investigation in February or March 2020. Members will then make any decisions about if and how to proceed to market.

Renewed focus on transmission pricing

Transmission pricing will be a focus for MEUG through September. One issue we are looking at is the residual, which will still comprise the majority of transmission charges under the proposed guidelines recently issued by the Electricity Authority.

An immediate question is how do you allocate asset base values where you can’t assign a beneficiary, or where there is no beneficiary? And if no one benefits from or uses the asset, why is a regulated monopoly asking consumers to pay for it?

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