Our GNG planning team supported the New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) with their submission on the review of the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation (NPS REG), seeking to enable the contribution of geothermal resources to electricity generation, both now and into the future.
As we have discussed previously, Aotearoa New Zealand’s regulatory environment and resource management legislation is changing, for the first time in thirty years. We are working with the NZGA on submissions to Government, with the aim of ensuring that reform of the regulatory framework enables geothermal development, including the potential for super-hot and deeper geothermal resources.
While the major reform is the replacement of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as the primary legislation applicable to the management of natural and physical resources, there are also changes underway to other national planning direction documents, including National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards.
Of particular relevance to geothermal resource use for electricity generation is the NPS REG. Originally developed in 2011, the Government have proposed changes to strengthen direction for consenting renewable electricity infrastructure.
Following review of the existing NPS REG, a new NPS REG will be developed. The changes to this National Direction are proposed under the RMA, rather than the new legislative framework, due to the time required to transition to a new framework.