The Terms of Reference for the Government’s review of the electricity sector were published in March 2018 with the expert advisory panel completing their final report in May 2019.
The Review investigated whether the price paid by end-consumers for electricity was fair and equitable. The role and effectiveness of current regulatory structures around competition and the ability of the current regulatory environment to respond to emerging technologies was also a Government priority and a key focus of the Review.
The Association supported the Review and highlighted the importance of a well-functioning electricity system that can innovate and is able to respond to the high level of expected demand growth as New Zealand transitions to a low-emissions economy.
The Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) also released their first Report in August 2018 and Options Paper in February 2019 for which submissions were sought.
The First Report and Options Paper addresses a number of current industry issues that are important to the wind industry including price structures, finalising transmission pricing and distribution. NZWEA is supportive of a number of the Report’s key points and preferred options.
Key areas the Association focused on in its submissions include:
- The need to change electricity price structures to reflect production and delivery costs (particularly at peak demand periods).
- The need for consistency of regulatory positioning and to makes changes to the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation and National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission.
- Implementing a new National Environmental Standard for small renewable developments as well as other Resource Management Act reform to better recognise the national importance of renewable electricity generation.
- The importance of finalising transmission pricing and agreeing a long-term position on distributed generation connection costs.
- The importance of demand side management and utilising storage capabilities for load shifting.
- Support for reinforcing wholesale market competition through improved information disclosures and introducing mandatory market making obligations.
View the Association’s submissions here:
- Submission on Electricity Price Review - First Report
- Submission on Electricity Price Review - Options Paper
From a wind energy perspective the EPR was generally positive with recommendations including the phase out of the low user tariff and proposing wholesale market reforms which should improve liquidity for merchant generators. The EPR also recommended distribution pricing reforms and finalising transmission pricing reform which will support renewables and provide more investment certainty.
More information on the Electricity Price Review and the EAP’s Reports are available on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's website: www.mbie.govt.nz/building-and-energy/energy-and-natural-resources/energy-consultations-and-reviews/electricity-price/