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Matt Burgess discusses the Government's 100% renewables policy on TVNZ Breakfast

The Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) will present its report to Government on transitioning New Zealand to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 this month.Research Fellow Matt Burgess is the author of our recent research report Switched On! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future. He says that New Zealand is well placed to increase the share of renewable electricity from its current level of 83% to 95% over the next 20 years even without further government intervention.However, the report... Read more

Matt Burgess
TVNZ Breakfast
1 May, 2019

If you want to cut emissions, make polluters pay

When governments want to reduce emissions, they have a choice between using policy or price. Policy includes rules – for example, 100% of electricity must be generated from renewables – as well as incentive payments, such as electric vehicle subsidies. Alternatively, governments can price carbon using cap-and-trade, or tax carbon directly. The fact that emissions occur in millions of places in the economy strongly affects the relative performance of policy and price. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2019
Cover Switched on2

Switched on! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future

The coalition government has committed New Zealand to a goal of generating 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2035.Renewables already account for 83% of our electricity, and on current trends will generate up to 97% of our electricity in 2035 without any help from policy changes.However, as Matt Burgess shows in this report, the last 3% through to 100% renewables share will be tremendously expensive, and could raise greenhouse gas emissions.New Zealand’s electricity is secure, affordable and among... Read more

Matt Burgess
28 March, 2019

Media release - New report: Pricing carbon properly key to successful renewables policy

Wellington (28 March 2019): Ahead of the Interim Climate Change Committee’s recommendations to Government, think tank The New Zealand Initiative today released an economic assessment of the proposed transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Authored by Research Fellow Matt Burgess, Switched on! finds that New Zealand is well-placed to increase the share of renewable electricity from its current level of 83%. However, the Initiative’s report warns that New Zealand must learn from costly policy failures overseas if we want... Read more

Media release
28 March, 2019
Plastic bag2

Eulogy for the last plastic bag

Tidying guru Marie Kondo advises her followers to hold or hug everyday items and ask yourself: “Does this item spark joy?” So I picked up a plastic bag and clutched it to my chest. I first felt joy, and then an overwhelming grief. The moment I had been dreading had arrived: my household had reached the last of our plastic bags. As my tears splashed off the plastic folds, I reflected on the injustice of the impending plastic bag ban. Read more

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
1 February, 2019
Water tap

Surviving the conversation

Unless we are good friends, my picking the restaurant when you are paying the bill can be a recipe for trouble. Central and local government are not always the best of friends. And when central government sets the water quality standards, local government foots the bill. In places with high water-treatment costs, residents might reasonably prefer the occasional boil water notice to hefty rates hikes. Central standards then amount to an unfunded mandate on local councils. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
23 November, 2018

Destroying the town to save it

Question: What costs three moon programs, puts nobody in space, and makes no difference to emissions? Answer: Energiewende (or energy turnaround), Angela Merkel’s plan to cut Germany’s emissions. Energiewende aims to make Germany the first industrial economy to fully run on renewable energy. The cost so far: 29,000 wind turbines and 1.6 million solar panels for the bargain price of €500 billion. Yes, half a trillion euro. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
23 November, 2018

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