Policy & Regulations Overview
There is no subsidy/incentive scheme in New Zealand for wind farms.
The wholesale market clears using locational marginal pricing. This means that all plants receive the highest cleared price, adjusted for location factor. This can act as a price support mechanism for renewables by increasing the price received.
All wind farms require a resource consent under the Resource Management Act (RMA). This involves an application of the proposed project in which the public can submit their views on the effects (positive and adverse) a proposal. There is no third party right of appeal in New Zealand.
The purpose of the RMA is to promote the management, development, and protection of New Zealand’s natural and physical resources. The Act allows for a National Policy Statement (NPS) which outlines objectives and policies for matters of national significance that are relevant to achieving the purpose of the RMA and to guide decision making on resource consent applications. The NPS for Renewable Electricity Generation, 2011, refers to the need for decision-makers to recognise the national significance and benefits of renewable electricity generation. It also outlines provisions for renewable electricity generation activities into regional policy statements and regional and local plans.
The Government’s New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS) reinforces the national significance of renewable electricity generation. The goal of the NZEECS is for New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy by encouraging businesses, individuals and public sector agencies to take action on increasing energy efficiency and unlocking our renewable energy sources. It contains a target for 90% renewable electricity generation by 2025 (average hydrological year) provided it does not compromise security of supply. The New Zealand Government has also set a more aspirational target of 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Currently, 84% of New Zealand’s electricity is generated from renewables.
Overall, New Zealand’s Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 provides a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies. It sets the target of net zero emissions from greenhouse gases by 2050.