April 5, 2021

Team Profile:
Geothermal: Decarbonising New Zealand
contributor(s)

photo credit:
Ally McFarlane

Geothermal’s advantages were highlighted last week by the New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) in their submission on the Draft Advice prepared by the Climate Change Commission.

The NZGA’s three key messages were:

  • Geothermal is an abundant, low-carbon and cost-effective energy resource that gives Aotearoa New Zealand a competitive advantage in transitioning its energy sector and economy.
  • Geothermal energy has been decarbonising New Zealand’s electricity and process heat sectors for over sixty years and is capable of innovating to decarbonise further so as to be a key part of Aotearoa’s future energy solution.
  • Geothermal energy is a critical enabler: of other renewables, of low-emission fuel production (biomass and green hydrogen), of investment in New Zealand’s strong and competitive business sectors (food and beverage, horticulture, renewable energy, tech and innovation, tourism, and wood processing), and of regional economic growth and Māori socio-economic development.

These benefits will also be true of supercritical energy developments as the high temperature geothermal industry advances beyond existing technologies and conventional geothermal resources.

At the close of the consultation round, the Climate Change Commission received 10,000+ submissions, and at the end of May 2021, the revised advice will be presented to the Government, proposing tangible actions to enable New Zealand to reach carbon net-zero by 2050.

Some of our GNG team members contributed to the NZGA submission process, and well as those prepared by their home institutions. While supercritical energy in New Zealand is yet to be realised, we have added our voices to promote the message that indigenous geothermal energy gives our nation a competitive advantage in transitioning its energy sector and economy to a low-carbon future.

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