From threat to opportunity : moving to a sustainable energy pathway
Over the next decade New Zealand must make important decisions that will strongly determine its future energy development pathway. Two strategic issues are of vital importance: the need for the energy sector to respond to the Government's policy of reducing CO2 emissions, the need to develop a viable energy strategy to take the country beyond the depletion of the Maui gas field. Recent energy forecasts have detailed a business as usual approach to New Zealands energy future. The business as usual pathway follows the trend of recent years, indicating continued rising energy consumption over the next two decades. The pathway emphasises the need to develop new energy supplies from conventional energy sources: coal, oil, gas and hydro electricity, to meet anticipated demands. However, this pathway seems to exacerbate problems that New Zealand needs to deal with over the coming decades. Instead of reducing CO2 emissions towards the Government's target of a 20% cut in CO2 by 2000, emissions would increase by 40% by 2010. Instead of moderating energy demand in anticipation of the rundown of the Maui gas field, growth in demand would continue, requiring new sources of energy to be discovered and developed. Instead of contributing in a positive way to the needs of a sustainable global energy system a business as usual approach contributes little. It will fail to bring CO2 emissions under control, let alone achieve cuts. It will fail to contribute to the necessary technology transformation required to develop and deploy environmentally benign energy technologies (those that minimise the environmental harms from energy use) to both the developed and developing world. It is the contention of this study that such a pathway is unsustainable.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsenergy policy; energy conservation; energy development; renewable energy sources; energy management; sustainable development; carbon dioxide emissions
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