New Zealand Is A Leader In Smart Energy Systems
New Zealand has been a global leader in the development of efficient energy markets for a long time. The country has engaged in renewable energy development as well as implementing robust electricity policies to allow the sector to flourish. However, in the past ten years, the country’s increasing energy needs have outgrown the improvements in energy efficiency. This demand has been largely contributed to by an increase in population and expansion of the economy.
The country aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. In order to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, the country must adopt policies that support the transformation of energy systems, engage in electrified transport and expand renewable energy use in buildings and industrial heating. As such, the IEA has commended New Zealand for engaging in ground breaking initiatives and innovations such as the electric vehicle program.
The initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders in the energy sector have made New Zealand a role model for secure power systems and effective energy markets in the region. However, a report by the IEA stated that the security of supply must be taken seriously and needs to be strengthened through reserves. The hydro-based power system in the country has brought numerous challenges relating to maintaining the physical security of the supply. This could be remedied through investment in the oil and gas resource base as it’s clear that the role of gas has increased in the power generation, industry and residential sectors. This calls for the energy sector to be more decentralized and local, with consumers being encouraged to use technologies like solar power, smart metering, electric vehicles and battery storage. Mass uptake of these technologies will help to make the country more competitive and allow it to continue to lead the sustainable energy market.