We spoke with 30 energy innovators and industry leaders to paint a fascinating picture of how Aotearoa New Zealand’s energy sector might look in 2030.

Energy sector leaders told us that despite New Zealand’s rich renewable resource base and natural advantages, we face significant challenges in our energy transition. Unrealistic renewable targets, regulatory uncertainties, high costs, the lack of an energy strategy and an “unjust” transition are just a few of the concerns raised – and which the incoming government might wish to consider.

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30 Voices on 2030:

The Future of Energy in Aotearoa

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While acknowledging the challenges, most Voices remain positive for the success of the transition. They highlight New Zealand’s unique strength - our community relationships and partnerships which can be used to develop our talent base and foster new industry collaborations.

Above all, they told us the energy transition is bringing new opportunities which New Zealand is well placed to seize. The development and adoption of new renewable power generation, energy storage, demand management and digital technologies, based on a solid strategy and facilitated through good relationships with consumers and communities, should enable New Zealand to achieve its energy goals.

What we heard from the Voices:

NZ will not meet its target

The key message we heard time and time again was that New Zealand will not meet a 100% renewable electricity generation target by 2030 and attempting to do so will just hold us back.


We need to be more joined up; we need to work together. New Zealand lacks – but needs – systems thinking.

Policy & regulations

Some changes to the regulatory environment were seen as a significant barrier to progress, potentially delaying Net Zero by 2050.

Talent & supply chain

The industry has some concerns around supply chain issues with equipment, and mixed views about the challenges around global talent versus the opportunities in harnessing local skills.

Technology & innovation

Innovation is high, but often happening under the radar. Significant developments include the aggregation of decentralised power supplies into Virtual Power Plants and the creation of Multiple Trading Relationships, and new technologies and automation are leading the way for the future.

Market structure

Views on how the market operates in New Zealand were varied, with the larger, vertically integrated retailers the happiest with current settings.


Most agree that consumers will ultimately have more choices in the new energy system, however there was real concern that the benefits and costs of the transition will not be shared evenly, increasing inequality.  

Te ao Māori

Māori are up for investing and participating meaningfully. The relationship Māori have to the natural resources critical for energy generation, alongside their role as the original practitioners of sustainability and their appetite for intergenerational investments, underpins the case for their meaningful inclusion in Aotearoa’s energy industry.

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