The Government has identified clear goals for increasing renewable electricity generation through the New Zealand Energy Strategy 2011-2021 which includes a target that 90 % of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025 providing this does not affect security of supply. This is supported by the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2011-2021 which includes an electricity system objective for “an efficient, renewable electricity system supporting New Zealand’s global competitiveness.”
The Government’s approach to developing New Zealand’s renewable energy resources is to ensure market incentives and the regulatory framework support further investment in appropriate renewable energy projects by removing any unnecessary regulatory barriers. There is no governmental subsidy for a new electricity generation in New Zealand since renewable energy is already cost-competitive as a new source of electricity generation, however, the NZ ETS is intended to send a clear price signal and create a competitive advantage for renewable generation.
A number of Crown Research Institutes include renewable energy within their Statements of Core Purpose, and invest core funding to support capability in this area.
The Government’s business research and development (R&D) funding programmes are now managed by Callaghan Innovation, a Crown entity set up to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation by businesses in New Zealand. Callaghan Innovation administers more than $140m a year in business R&D funding through three programmes grants:
- R&D Growth Grants designed to increase R&D investment in businesses with a strong track record for R&D spending in New Zealand
- R&D Project Grants designed to support greater investment by businesses in R and D activities especially those with less established R&D programmes, and
- R&D Students Grants designed to support New Zealand undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain and develop their technical skills in a commercial research environment, while bringing capability into New Zealand businesses.