NZ's energy future

In 2015 the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) produced a report entitled "New Zealand Energy Scenarios: navigating energy futures to 2050" (BEC 2050) 1. Straterra was among contributors to this report. This work is based on that of the World Energy Council, which produced a world energy scenarios report in 2013. 

BEC 2050 outlines two different scenarios for New Zealand's energy future out to 2050, naming the scenarios 'kayak' and 'waka'.

  • 'Kayak' is a consumer-led scenario, which places primacy on markets and prices
  • 'Waka' is a government or voter-led scenario in which more focus is placed on environmental sustainability

Kayak and Waka are not proposed energy pathways - they are plausible energy futures, to provoke debate on the policy choices and the trade-offs required, as New Zealand charts its energy future.

Under Kayak, New Zealand could have 1.65 million alternative energy vehicles on the road in 2050. That figure increases to 3.2m under Waka. Correspondingly, net greenhouse gas emissions could reach 30 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent a year by 2050 under Kayak, cf. 18Mt under Waka.

Click here 2 for a snapshot summary report, infographic and video - what kind of New Zealand would you like to live in? How do we get there? What are the choices and trade-offs needed to get there? The BEC 2050 work throws down a challenge to those thinking about the future - is where you want to take the energy sector based on a coherent and plausible storyline, or wishful thinking?

For policymakers, the task is to achieve an energy system that optimises a triple goal of being affordable, secure, and environmentally sustainable. New Zealand ranked 10th in the world towards optimising the "energy trilemma" in 2015. Learn more from the World Energy Council 3.