BusinessNZ Energy Council


Technology risks keep New Zealand energy executives awake at night

Jan 23, 2015 | News

The second annual New Zealand Energy Issues Map reveals a rich and informative story around the risks and opportunities are increasingly keeping New Zealand energy executives awake at night, especially around new technologies.

The New Zealand Energy Issues Map is part of the World Energy Council’s (WEC) recently released annual 2015 World Energy issues Monitor.  It is based on the responses from 100 senior New Zealand energy executives across the public and private sectors – the largest response rate from across  the entire WEC membership.

Dr Rob Whitney, Chair of the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC), the WECs national member committee, says the New Zealand map neatly captures the current and future challenges and opportunities as our energy executives grapple with an increasingly uncertain global and domestic energy future.  The  strong participation from New Zealand underlines the messages drawn from the survey.

Similar to global energy executives, New Zealand energy executives see energy price volatility and climate framework uncertainty as critical issues.

Price volatility driven by global uncertainty surrounding the absence of a sufficiently strong carbon price, and rapid and dramatic changes in relative energy prices such as the price of oil and solar create investment uncertainty.

But while energy price uncertainty has actually reduced since last year’s New Zealand map, energy affordability has unsurprisingly risen in urgency.

“The map reflects a clear message to policy makers from New Zealand energy executives – address both of these challenges by the innovative and early adoption of new technologies and business models not by dismantling the market or introducing subsidies.”

This view was common across all respondents – both the private and public sectors.

“The clustering of technologies of smart grid, electric storage and electric vehicles, combined with the urgent development of innovative supporting regulation, combined with energy efficiency, points to the future.  Unlocking these issues will be more likely to facilitate a competitive market  that ensures prices reflect costs.”

The BEC addressed these issues in more detail in our recently released BEC Energy Brief  2014, says Dr Whitney.

How New Zealand responds to these challenges will define its energy future.  We believe that we can deliver a strong and sustainable energy future for all in a way that is optimised around our exceptional energy resources including great and competitive renewables, and  balanced across the  ‘trilemma’ of energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.

Contact Dr  Rob Whitney 027 292 1050 or Kathryn Asare 021 555 744

2015 World Energy Issues Monitor Global Map

Highlighting 40 issues and their perceived impact, uncertainty and urgency for energy leaders globally.

2015 World Energy Issues Monitor Global Map


How to read the Energy Issues Map

Issues with high uncertainty and high impact (“critical uncertainties” – in the upper right corner) include those issues which will most benefit from multi-stakeholder dialogue and scenario analysis. The issues on the high-impact/low uncertainty (“need for action” – in the lower right corner)  are those where immediate action finds easy consensus. The low impact/low uncertainty ones include issues of perceived lesser importance but also “weak signals” (bottom left), which may be issues that are still badly understood.The urgency of an issue is proportional to the size of its bubble

2015 World Energy Issues Monitor New Zealand Map

Highlighting 40 issues and their perceived impact,uncertainty and urgency for energy leaders in New Zealand.

2015 World Energy Issues Monitor New Zealand Map


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