APEC Energy Ministers' meeting successful

Wednesday 14 September 2011, 4:34PM
By Hekia Parata

The Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, Hekia Parata, says the APEC Energy and Transportation Ministerial Conference resonated with all the key elements of the New Zealand Energy Strategy and the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.

Ms Parata represented the Government at the conference in San Francisco where the energy policy roundtable discussion focused on "Stability, Diversity and Resilience: Ensuring Energy for Growth."

“The conference confirmed that our Government’s balanced approach to building a sustainable energy and resources future through renewables, the exploration of our natural resources, energy efficiency and the pricing of carbon is the right one,’’ says Ms Parata.

“We are already a world leader in renewable energy and have implemented a number of initiatives to support energy efficiency, such as the Warm Up New Zealand Heat Smart programme and energy efficiency standards for products and appliances.’’

During the conference Ms Parata had the opportunity to meet with the United States Secretary of Energy, Dr Steven Chu.

“In our discussion I noted that New Zealand’s Energy Strategy encompassed both an investment in exploration of our indigenous oil and gas resources and a focus on energy efficiency measures including the deployment of standards on products that Secretary Chu covered in his remarks to the conference.

“I also noted New Zealand’s co-sponsorship of resolutions to phase out subsidies on fossil fuels which will be considered at the APEC Leaders Conference in Hawaii in November.’’

Ms Parata says Secretary Chu was impressed with New Zealand’s renewables target of 90 per cent of electricity generation.

“Secretary Chu was interested to know the contribution of hydro and the overall mix. I was delighted to advise him on the joint venture work between New Zealand and the US, exemplified by the implementation of a wind alternative at the US Scott Base in Antarctica, that has significantly reduced the reliance on diesel.

"We concluded our discussion by agreeing on the significant contribution that energy efficiency measures such as the retrofitting of homes, the installation of clean heat, the consistent use of product standards and energy rating systems, makes.’’

Ms Parata also met with Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr Darwin Zahedy Saleh, to discuss the opportunity for cooperation between our two countries around our mutual interest in geothermal energy.

Indonesia plans to significantly accelerate its geothermal development by 2025 and both New Zealand and Indonesia are keen to collaborate on skills development and technology sharing based on New Zealand’s world leadership in this area.

“I was delighted to reiterate New Zealand’s interest in working with Indonesia to realise their geothermal goals by 2025.''

Ms Parata also met with Mr Chee Hong Tat, the Chief Executive of the Electricity Market Authority of Singapore, to discuss the two countries' mutual interest in research and development and technologies that deliver more clean energy options.

“We agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in this area. We also canvassed issues of common interest in the regulation of the electricity market, and the successful bedding in of reforms in New Zealand.’’

Ms Parata will remain in San Francisco for the APEC Women and the Economy Summit, which runs from September 13-16.

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will chair discussion which will focus on our Government’s key priorities of: increasing the number of women in leadership; increasing women’s economic independence and driving economic growth.