Distrbution Generation Pricing Principles Consultation Paper Submission

NZWEA has recently submitted on the Electricity Authority’s consultation paper.

The Association has significant concerns with what is being proposed particularly in respect of adverse impacts on renewable generation and energy efficiency initiatives. NZWEA’s submission includes several recommended changes and can be viewed here

To provide context to our submission the Association is concerned that the achievement of the Government’s 90% renewal target by 2025 is already under threat. Distributed generation is largely renewable and includes over 300MW of wind. The proposed changes to connection charges, in particular, and removal of ACOT payments have a significant negative impact on the viability of a number of our member’s existing wind farms. It is also unsettling for the owners that have invested in long life assets and clearly presents risks for future investment.

NZWEA also considers the removal of RCPD pricing removes an important, well proven and cost effective signal in encouraging transmission and distribution efficiency from initiatives such as demand side management. We need to be careful that just because there has been a significant step increase in the level of transmission investment, and pressures have eased, this presents a timing rather than a permanent advantage until demand increases.

The New Zealand Energy Strategy and the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy both highlight the importance of renewable energy, distributed generation and demand side management opportunities. In NZWEA’s view the Review of Distributed Generation Pricing Principles Consultation Paper is a backward step as it is not aligned with key renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies or New Zealand’s wider emissions reductions commitments, and does not encourage a future smart grid infrastructure which has become so important to an industry in the midst of rapid technological change.