Electrify NZ - Offshore Wind

National’s vision is for a growing New Zealand economy where transport and industry are powered by clean energy rather than fossil fuels. But switching cars and industrial production to electricity makes no sense if the extra electricity is generated by burning coal.

New Zealand’s abundant solar, wind and geothermal resources make renewable energy a viable pathway to a low emissions economy. Achieving this will require an unprecedented investment in renewable energy.

Offshore wind is one of this country’s great untapped energy sources. New Zealand’s shallow offshore seabeds and isolated, windy location in the South Pacific means offshore wind has enormous potential to deliver clean energy at scale. New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone covers four million square kilometres of ocean. Less than one per cent of that could generate 600 per cent of this country’s electricity needs from renewable energy.

However, offshore wind currently generates none of New Zealand’s electricity because investment rules are not yet in place.

National will fast track rules to unleash investment in offshore wind generation as part of our plan to Electrify NZ and help rebuild the economy.

National will:

  • Fast track permits so feasibility studies for offshore wind can get underway.
  • Complete the development of offshore wind regulations including commercial permits within one year to unleash investment.
  • Require decisions on resource consents for offshore wind generation within two years of an application.
  • Require consents for new transmission lines to be issued within one year and eliminate consents for upgrades to existing transmission lines, within limits.
  • Work with Crown Research Institutes to publish weather and geology data to accelerate investment in offshore wind.

You can read our full policy document here.