Focused on a ‘sustainable, low emissions energy future’, the document highlights predictions of a 35% increase in energy demand and a 30% increase in emissions by 2030 under the current business as usual scenario in nuclear free New Zealand.

The draft is a replacement for the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy which will form a subset of the new strategy document.

Keith Turner, chief executive of state-owned power company, Meridian Energy said: ‘For electricity, New Zealand has a wonderful hydro system that provides the best system in the world to support wind development and when augmented with base-load geothermal resources and other new hydro opportunities, we have renewable electricity on the horizon for the next 15-20 years.’

Turner is enthusiastic about the prospects for significant change in the transport sector, including the use of both biofuels and electric vehicles, combined with renewable electricity, as a basis for achieving international competitive advantage. However he sounded a note of caution in regard to implementation of the strategy, warning that there are a number of areas that need significant policy changes to make progress, such as the development the transmission grid.