New Zealand leads wind of change
05 July, 2016
New Zealand experienced the warmest first six months in 2016 since records began. While most of us enjoyed the balmier temperatures, climate experts are concerned and have been pushing for urgent action globally to cut carbon emissions.
The Paris agreement commits over 180 countries to cut carbon emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2°C. This will drive growth in renewable electricity generation (hydro, wind, solar), which is expected to make up over 70% of new power generation capacity between now and 2030.
New Zealand has always punched above its weight on green power, with 80% of our electricity coming from renewables. Across the Tasman, Australia is heavily dependent on coal and gas, desperately needing new sources of renewable generation to meet its emissions targets.
Australia currently produces only 14% of its electricity from renewables and its government has recently set a target of 23% renewable production by 2020. This sees them needing to build new renewable capacity at nearly three times their current rate. This presents a large growth opportunity and the potential for attractive investment opportunities for companies able to develop and operate wind farms.
Trustpower, New Zealand's own renewable electricity generator and developer, is a leading player in this space. Already it's one of the largest wind generators in Australia with over 380 megawatts (MW) of wind generation. It also has a further 507MW of consented wind projects in Australia, enough to more than double its wind generation capacity over the next five years.
Trustpower is currently working on splitting its wind business into a new listed company, which will provide a unique business leveraged to the development of renewables in Australasia.