Greens: Set target for 100pct renewable energy

  • 17/08/2015
Green MP Gareth Hughes
Green MP Gareth Hughes

The Greens want the Government to set a target for 100 percent renewable energy generation following Contact Energy's decision to close its Otahuhu B gas-fired power station at the end of next month.

Genesis Energy announced earlier this month that it would close its coal-fired Huntly power station by the end of 2018.

The Government's renewable energy target is 90 percent by 2025.

Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes says it's time to set a 100 percent goal.

He says industry is leading the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy generation and the Government needs to catch up.

"Other countries and states have adopted 100 percent renewable targets and New Zealand has a wealth of options to get there, including wind and solar and using existing energy more efficiently," he said.

"Globally, clean energy jobs such as solar panel installation are growing exponentially and they can here too if the Government steps up."

Contact Energy says the country's growth in renewable energy triggered the Otahuhu decision, with the new Te Mihi geothermal power station effectively replacing it.

Last month it sought expressions of interest for the purchase of generation from the Otahuhu station but it did not support continued operation of the plant.