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Greens policy announcement: Our Clean Energy Plan

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, July 12th, 2020 - 26 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, greens - Tags: , ,

From the Green Party website,

The Green Party has always been clear that climate change needs to be tackled now, and we’ve done more in the last three years than the past 30 years of government combined.

We know we need to go further and faster on climate action, which is why we’re proposing a plan to kick-start the transition to end the use of fossil fuels in Aotearoa.

Our Clean Energy Plan is the first part of our transformational proposal to end the use of fossil fuels in Aotearoa. It will help to ensure our grandchildren inherit a world where they can not only survive, but thrive.

We’re thinking ahead. We’re leading the way to move Aotearoa towards the clean energy solutions that will power us safely into the future.

Here’s how we’ll do it:

    1. We’ll upgrade all 63,000 social and community homes with solar panels and batteries
    2. We’ll introduce grants to halve the price of installing solar in privately-owned homes, and offer grants and low-interest loans for businesses to transition to renewable energy
    3. We’ll ban new industrial coal boilers within the first 100 days in Government
    4. We’ll create a $250 million Clean Energy Fund which communities can draw from for local renewable energy projects
    5. We’ll establish a Clean Energy Industry Training Plan to support thousands of people into jobs
    6. We’ll simplify planning rules to make it easier to build wind turbines, and
    7. We’ll end coal use in Aotearoa by 2030.

Read the two page summary on our Clean Energy Plan here.

Read the full policy here.

Support the Clean Energy Plan here.


26 comments on “Greens policy announcement: Our Clean Energy Plan”

  1. Ad 1

    Taking my comment over from Open Mike.

    Highlights from the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan:

    • Establish a Clean Energy Industry Training Plan to support thousands of people into jobs.
    • Introduce grants to halve the price of installing solar in privately-owned homes, and offer grants and low-interest loans for businesses to transition.
    • Upgrade all 63,000 social and community homes with solar panels and batteries.
    • Ban new industrial coal boilers within the first 100 days in Government.
    • End coal use in Aotearoa by 2030.
    • Create a $250 million Clean Energy Fund which communities can draw from for local renewable energy projects.
    • Simplify planning rules to make it easier to build wind turbines.

    All consistent.

    But one glaring absence is the redistribution of the 16% of national electricity generation that will become available in 2021 once the Tiwai Point smelter ceases operation. Are they unable to join the dots from the largest electricity threat+opportunity that we've faced?

    A second absence is EECA. Under Jeanette Fitzsimmons two decades ago, the Greens won the formation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency. It's essentially the minor conscience of the state network system. This is the natural home for most of the Green's current proposals.

    Also the Greens have not mentioned structural reform of the Electricity Authority and of Transpower. Under the previous Electricity Authority there was going to be a pricing signal put out that electricity would cost more the further you were away from the generator. This was turned around when then-Minister Collins wrote to the Board saying essentially she could not handle the cost of Aucklanders having their power bills put up – even if it meant Tiwai Point electricity would cost more – so think again please Board.

    So the Board folded like origami, and now we have the results. The new government subsidises the winter power bills of old people up the wazoo, and Tiwai Point is goneburger.

    Surely the Greens could have had some useful policy insight into how price signals are sent to the whole of consumers?

    Finally, since the government still owns over 50% of our main electricity generators, could they not have some policy opinion on what these companies actually do and how their profits are used?

    I want to see a Green party with some structural ambition for all consumers and across all available state sector instruments, not just minor upgrade programmes.

    • Andre 1.1

      there was going to be a pricing signal put out that electricity would cost more the further you were away from the generator.

      That's on the way in a new, yet to be finalised, form. It was projected to cut around $10 million from Transpower's charges to Tiwai Point. But obviously with that ground having shifted, the framework will be rejigged. However it shakes out, that change is coming in a year or three. Allegedly.



      • Ad 1.1.1

        There's no reason to believe any of that.

        What we need is a government right now who will react to the Tiwai Point closure BOTH as a regulatory opportunity for electricity distribution and pricing, and as a economic development crisis on a really large scale.

        The electricity part of that requires the government putting the hard ruler over the electricity generators, distributors, and markets in the same way that the Simpson Report did over the health system.

        This should have been a gift for the Greens' policy announcement today, but instead they couldn't join the dots, so it will be the Act Party's welfare announcement is going to make the 6pm news instead.

        • RedLogix

          The Tiwai Pt closure is mentioned on p5 of the full Plan.

          We recognise that the recently announced closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter creates uncertainty for the electricity market and 5 energy use, and also the social impacts for Southland communities. Without the smelter using up to 13% of Aotearoa’s electricity, other South Island businesses will find it easier to switch from coal to electricity. There is also potential for new industries in Southland to use some of that energy, such as data centres and hydrogen production. We know that as electricity demand grows in the medium-long term from transport and industrial electrification nationwide, more solar generation will remain an essential part of Aotearoa’s electricity mix especially in the North Island.

          Not a lot to get excited about in the short term as it will take a year or two to get the new transmission lines done.

          On first scan the only part of the plan I’m a little dubious about is the reliance on household scale batteries in very large numbers. Technically doable, but I’m unsure of some of the practicalities of such a large amount of power electronics in ordinary homes all over the country.

          Also replacing all our industrial heat with renewable based electricity/hydrogen is doable, but I’d like to see some more analysis on this. My instinct is the numbers may not stack up as nicely as the plan implies.

          But otherwise yes, at last a decent policy prescription heading in the right direction. NZ is almost uniquely placed to make renewables the centrepiece of our energy systems; it’s time we went 100%.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      But one glaring absence is the redistribution of the 16% of national electricity generation that will become available in 2021 once the Tiwai Point smelter ceases operation. Are they unable to join the dots from the largest electricity threat+opportunity that we've faced?

      Considering that the Tiwai closure was only announced a couple of days ago I doubt that they've had time to rerun the numbers and update their policy.

      What is it about people and their delusional beliefs that these types of things can be done instantly?

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        What is it about people and their delusional beliefs that these types of things can be done instantly?

        Because that’s the way it works in movies. Make it so.

      • Ad. 1.2.2

        Oh good grief you have such lazy thinking.

        Labour rolled out waves of far bigger policy announcements over the last three months.

        NZF did a fair few themselves. Hell this week even Muller could react to events and run out some policy in the same week

        The Green Party office in Wellington really need to walk and chew gum at the same time, like everyone else has to.

        • Hanswurst

          That all seems a bit knee-jerk, to be honest, Ad. There's nothing stopping them coming out with a response to the Tiwai Pt. developments in the time between now and the election. If time goes by and there's no hint of that, it might be the time to call it 'glaring'. As it is, it's just an open question that's worth asking, but not worth the sort of melodramatic reaction you've offered. It may also be that the Greens decide that they'll stick to the big-vision stuff and allow Labour to tackle a reasonable-sounding response to Tiwai Pt.. That way, both have policies to play to their respective voting bases with, and they can leave the actual reconciliation of figures and formulation of policy until after the election. If they both come up with policies on it, the figures and priorities become a far more tangible target for opposition attacks before the election.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Democracy takes time. People need to be informed and asked their opinion and then those answers collated and researched and then a path forward decided.

          It also takes resources: More decisions to be made requires more people to look at them more people to do research and instantiate the discussion.

          On the other hand, dictatorships don't really require that time or those resources as they can simply make an ideological decisions and gave it done now, now, now. All their decisions are crap but at least they made them as fast as you want them to.

      • froggleblocks 1.2.3

        Perhaps they could have postponed this policy announcement for a week or two and announce something else they had scheduled for later, now, and say that they were updating their policy to take into account Tiwai Point closing.

        Or perhaps they could have just announced a few pieces of this policy, brought another minor announcement forward, and say they would announce the rest of the policy in 1-2 weeks time once they had a strategy for dealing with Tiwai Point.

        But they didn't.

        • Tricledrown

          Population increase decommissioning dirty energy generation.(Fonterra etc) uptake of cheaper electric cars will use up the 13% manapouri provides.

          Solar cells and solar water heating in state houses plus private houses will make healthier more affordable living for NZers

        • Incognito

          Perhaps the Green Party consider the closing of Tiwai Pt largely irrelevant to their Clean Energy Plan. That said, I think it was and still is an opportunity to lead the narrative and formulate some practical ideas and response along the lines of what Ad was suggesting in his unique blunt-ish way. Crickets.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Heard James Shaw on Radionz this morning early. Sounded good, explained things well and rationally. Answered questions sensibly, pointing out advantages, cost effectiveness, multiple responses to different problems from a single project.

  3. Maurice 3

    … and what are we going to do with those who do not want to be "transformed"?

    Those who oppose and still support "capitalism"?

    Will we force them to transform?

    These are pivotal question to which we must have the answers

    • weka 3.1

      What about this plan is inconsistent with capitalism?

    • Incognito 3.2

      Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Don't you believe in the creative destruction of capitalism?

      Creative destruction describes the deliberate dismantling of established processes in order to make way for improved methods of production.
      The term is most often used to describe disruptive technologies such as the railroads or, in our own time, the Internet.
      It was coined in the early 1940s by economist Joseph Schumpeter, who observed real-life examples of creative destruction, such as Henry Ford’s assembly line.

      Basically, change with the times or be trampled.

  4. Adrian 4

    There has been a quiet ramping up of Uni etc based research and investigations into the alternative uses of the facility and power in the event of the abandonment of Tiwai Point in the last few years. My take on this is that the Labour government had decided not to be threatened by Rio Tinto again and to take them off life support the next time they pulled that stunt.

    “ Where’s the plan? “ cries Todd the Planless, well Todd, I’ve known about it for a while, please try to keep up.

    • weka 4.1

      Is there still the idea that the govt will bail them out?

      • Andre 4.1.1

        Among Southland local government and business organisations, there still appears to be a hope and a push to pay a ransom for the jobs hostages.


      • Adrian 4.1.2

        I don't know Weka, but I do know a lot of work and a bit of money has gone into looking at alternative uses.

        With Transpower talking about wanting 10 billion to upgrade the grid to get the power to the north and sometimes back the other way to ease the pressure on the lakes it makes more sense to use the extra available power in the southern region to protect jobs and save money especially if the solar/wind rollout in the north eases that problem.

        Any jobs coming from such things as data centres or solar panel factories which apparently use a lot of power and given that Southland has large deposits of high quality silica makes them look like a strong possibility, as well as the production of hydrogen for export, will take some time to ramp up but would be a far better use of the money than spending billions on bigger power lines.

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