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Power To X Can Accelerate Our Nation Towards ‘state Of Green’ Says Venture Taranaki

Press Release – Venture Taranaki

Taranaki regional development agency Venture Taranaki has launched a future-focused concept paper, Power to X, at todays Offshore Future Energy Forum, held in New Plymouth and to an online audience. “Power to X” is a term used to describe …

Taranaki regional development agency Venture Taranaki has launched a future-focused concept paper, Power to X, at today’s Offshore Future Energy Forum, held in New Plymouth and to an online audience.

“Power to X” is a term used to describe a range of processes that use renewable electricity to create ‘green’ versions of existing or new products. The paper explores the potential of generating more green energy than Aotearoa may need, based on our current economy, to enable our economy to power-up and expand significantly into the manufacturing of green products to substitute carbon intensive ones and becoming a global magnet for green, energy-intensive industries.

“In this paper we aim to familiarise readers with the various Power to X pathways, explain the connections between established industry and energy resources in New Zealand, and use Taranaki as a case study to explain how a Power to X energy landscape might be achieved.” Says Justine Gilliland, Chief Executive Venture Taranaki.

“Using renewable electricity has the potential to transform industry in New Zealand, providing a green alternative to produce hydrogen, ammonia, methane, methanol, and synfuels. Additional energy intensive industries, such as high-tech and advanced manufacturing also have the potential to significantly develop in such a system,” adds Justine.

The report highlights, that at a time when the world is seeking to accelerate the shift to a low-emissions future, there is a real opportunity for New Zealand, and Taranaki, to play a much more ambitious role, rethinking our approach to energy to sustain our position as leaders in this field, while providing sector resilience as policy and technology evolve.

According to Venture Taranaki, the nation is sitting on a significant untapped renewable energy resource – offshore wind energy, and this could be put to good use, such as in the manufacture of green products.

“We need to be looking beyond our current domestic needs and economic activity when considering changes to the energy system that will be required to meet net greenhouse gas emissions targets set by the Government. Incorporating Power to X pathways in any future model has the possibility to lay a platform for a more vibrant and diverse economy and may hold the key to ensuring a fair and equitable just transition for New Zealand communities most affected by emissions reductions,” continues Justine.

A key component underpinning the development of Power to X pathways is the availability of significant renewable energy. While renewable electricity can be generated through solar, onshore wind, hydro, or geothermal, the paper proposes offshore wind farm development as having the most promise for the large-scale generation required to make Power to X projects cost-effective.

“Outlined in our 2020 Offshore Wind Discussion document, areas off the coast of Taranaki are suitable to develop fixed wind farms that can generate over 14 GW, which would more than double New Zealand’s electricity supply. If floating wind turbines were considered, then the resource magnifies even more, and has the potential to be globally significant,” explains Anne Probert, Venture Taranaki Regional Strategy and Sectors GM.

“The Power to X concept paper reinforces the key elements that are required for this opportunity to be realised and explains that Taranaki has the ingredients to be an ideal hub for power-to-x production and distribution,” adds Anne.

“Other existing resources and infrastructure in the region, such as skilled people, supporting services, training facilities, and motivated locally-based organisations create the perfect conditions for Power to X to thrive in Taranaki,” adds Justine.

The report outlines a possible scenario of concurrent offshore wind generation and power-to-x production through to 2050, based on projects underway or in the pipeline.

Port Taranaki is part of the Energy Action Group, which is a collaborative industry group looking into the role Taranaki will play in the new energy future, including the Power to X work.

“There is a fantastic skillset and knowledge base across the Taranaki energy spectrum that can be utilised in new and renewable energy solutions. It’s been exciting to work alongside and support the Energy Action Group on this important work that will shape the region’s energy future,” says Port Taranaki Head of Commercial, Ross Dingle.

“We believe that with our existing energy industry experience and skills, industry partnerships, our west coast location, and our laydown and storage areas, Port Taranaki is well suited to providing services for new and renewable energy solutions in a Power to X industry. This includes as a base for maintenance and operations of offshore wind production, supporting the production of such a resource, and supporting the arrival, moving and storage of project cargo associated with it.”

“Power to X is an introductory paper, and the intention is to initiate discussions about rethinking our energy, and economic, future and adopting a much more ambitious pathway ahead” says Anne.

To view the Power to X paper please visit the Venture Taranaki website – https://www.venture.org.nz/regional-intelligence/all-reports/.

BACKGROUND

The Power to X concept paper was produced by Venture Taranaki, based on commissioned work by Sapere and Absolute Certainty.

Insights, feedback and technical advice were provided by members of the Taranaki 2050 and Tapuae Roa Energy Action Group.

The Energy Action Group is a collection of Taranaki-based energy sector organisations that have a shared ambition to shape a more sustainable energy future. They have met semi-regularly since 2020 to prioritise and progress energy actions contained within the region’s long-term strategies, Taranaki 2050 and Tapuae Roa.

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