The 'short sighted' path vs the '100 percent' path

Greenpeace has come out with a new report, The Future is Here, outlining a future in which New Zealand could achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025 and almost 100 percent renewable transport and industry by 2050.

The report is based on modelling conducted by experts including energy analysts at the Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment in Stuttgart, Germany.

The modelling projects that by 2050 New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions from all energy use will decrease from 30 million tonnes in 2009 to 1.8 million tonnes – a 94 percent reduction on 2009 carbon dioxide emissions.

Nearly 6,000 direct jobs could be created for a total of almost 11,000 in 2030.

The report also slammed current government policies and reliance on "carbon intensive, polluting industries" as taking New Zealand down a "short-sighted and ultimately, poorer economic path".

 WWF-New Zealand climate change programme manager Peter Hardstaff said: “This report is a welcome addition to a growing body of work showing that a renewable energy future for New Zealand is not only 100 percent possible, but economically beneficial. Our nation’s future prosperity depends on a low carbon economy.

“Now, more than ever, we need the political leadership to kick start the transition towards a 100% renewable economy.”

greenpeace report the future is here

The study found that biomass could potentially account for half of our liquid fuel needs by 2050. In response, Brian Cox of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand said that BANZ had been working on its own analysis of the industry, and found that on an economic basis 25 percent of New Zealand's energy supply could be supplied from bioenergy by 2040.

"This would be a $6 billion industry for New Zealand and would provide jobs and economic stimulus throughout New Zealand.”