The BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) has welcomed New Zealand’s continued “robust energy sector performance in comparison with other countries”.
The World Energy Council’s 2017 Energy Trilemma Index ranks countries on how well they achieve the energy ‘trilemma’ balance of security, equity and sustainability. With an overall balanced rating of AAB, New Zealand remains ninth out of 125 comparator countries and is still the best performing country in the Asia-Pacific region, and again the only non-European country in the top ten.
BEC chairman David Caygill said New Zealand maintaining its top ten ranking suggested a consistent approach to the pursuit of balanced energy policies.
This year Denmark leads the top ten, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Norway, France, New Zealand and Slovenia. The ranking suggests New Zealand is in a good position, performing relatively better on energy security and energy equity than environmental sustainability.
“New Zealand ranked 13 of 36 OECD countries for energy affordability. This is particularly noteworthy given our size and remote geographic location which means, unlike many European nations, we must import our transport fuels over significant distances and cannot rely on interconnection from other countries for our electricity and gas supplies,” Mr Caygill said.
This year New Zealand dropped from 36 to 42 in the environmental sustainability category (21st against OECD comparators). While New Zealand has made modest improvements in this category, other countries have shown greater advancements which has resulted in their ranking overtaking ours.
The energy sector is facing three trends impacting demand and supply at an unprecedented pace: decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation.
“New technologies and systems are set to revolutionise the way we produce and consume energy which will lead to unprecedented opportunities for energy efficiency and emissions reductions but will require new ways of thinking,” Mr Caygill said.
“New Zealand is among the world leaders in digitalisation and can leverage this advantage to achieve the improved emissions and efficiency outcomes sought by the new Government.”
Cross-sector partnerships, new ways of optimising assets, and greater use of new technology platforms open doors to greater energy efficiency on the supply and demand side and consumer value. BEC members are at the forefront of these initiatives.