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ENERGY NEWS
New Zealand lauded for renewables, but challenges remain
by Daniel J. Graeber
Wellington, New Zealand (UPI) Feb 21, 2017


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Even with international praise for its renewable energy strategy, New Zealand's government said there is room for improvement.

An annual review of the New Zealand energy sector from the International Energy Agency described the country as a "success story" for its ability to advance on low-carbon options like hydro-electric power and geothermal energy, all without government subsidies.

At more than 200 pages long, the report praised the government for its support of the Paris climate agreement and for its "ambitious" plans to put more electric vehicles on the road.

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins said electric vehicle goals in particular were supporting efforts to limit carbon emissions.

"New Zealand is a global leader in the development of electricity markets and we have one of the highest percentages of renewable electricity generation in the world," she said in a statement.

Collins in January said more than a dozen projects will be targeted with a $2.5 million fund to incentivize the electric vehicle market. The funding is part of an effort to put 64,000 electric vehicles on the country's roads by 2021.

Oil, however, is the fourth-largest export for New Zealand, bringing in around $700 million each year in royalties and taxes. The government said there are around 149 million barrels of oil reserves remaining in fields already in production.

Collins said that, like any country, there are challenges in finding the right mix to balance needs against climate commitments.

"Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy's energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge," the IEA's report read.


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EU parliament backs draft carbon trading reforms
Strasbourg, France (AFP) Feb 15, 2017
The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted draft reforms of Europe's carbon market after 2021, a key step in reaching the bloc's climate change goals. The European Commission published its reform plans in July 2015 for the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), the world's largest. Ivo Belet, climate spokesman for the centre-right European People's party, said the "balanced" reforms woul ... read more


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