New Zealand, BlackRock Partner for 100% Green Energy
New Zealand's authorities announced on Tuesday a groundbreaking partnership with the prominent U.S. investment firm BlackRock, marking a significant step towards becoming one of the global pioneers in achieving a fully renewable-powered electricity grid.
In a collaborative effort, the government is assisting BlackRock in the launch of a substantial $1.2 billion fund aimed at amplifying investments in wind and solar energy generation, as well as bolstering battery storage and green hydrogen initiatives.
With a current electricity grid already running on approximately 82% renewable energy, primarily derived from hydroelectric power generated by damming rivers decades ago, the government now sets its sights on achieving the ambitious goal of 100% renewable energy generation by the close of this decade.
The announcement, strategically timed just two months before an impending election, underscores the government's determination to enhance its environmentally conscious reputation. However, critics highlight that the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions have shown minimal reduction since the symbolic declaration of a climate emergency in 2020.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins articulated, "This monumental development holds the potential to revolutionise the clean-tech sector, exemplifying the government's pragmatic and effective strategies in accelerating climate action while simultaneously fostering economic growth and job creation." Speaking in Auckland, Hipkins elaborated that the established fund would enable New Zealand enterprises to generate intellectual property with global commercialisation potential.
Hipkins emphasised, "Engaging in partnership with and offering support to industries to address the climate crisis is a logical step forward."
BlackRock divulged limited specifics about the proposed 2 billion New Zealand dollar ($1.22 billion) fund, yet indicated that its initial focus would target institutional investors. Notably, this initiative marks BlackRock's first foray into such endeavours, as stated by Andrew Landman, the head of BlackRock in Australia and New Zealand.
Chris Hipkins further underscored the exceptional innovation prevalent in the country's clean tech sector, stating, "The level of visionary ingenuity demonstrated by these invested companies surpasses what we typically witness in other clean tech ecosystems."
To completely transition the grid to green energy, BlackRock estimates that a comprehensive investment of around US$26 billion will be necessary.
BlackRock's Chief Executive Officer, Larry Fink, conveyed on social media, "The world is actively seeking examples of collaboration between the private and public sectors to ensure an orderly, equitable, and just energy transition."
In response, David Seymour, leader of New Zealand's libertarian ACT Party, voiced concerns over the plan's potential to drive up energy costs without significant environmental gains. Seymour remarked in a statement, "New Zealanders are apprehensive about being subjected to a 'world first' climate change experiment that could lead to excessive government intervention in their lives."
Source: ABC News