Powering Up -  our energy story

Pathway to Low Emissions identified - now the work starts!

The Mid - South Canterbury region is a food processing hub abundant with large-scale manufacturing and processing plants, with some of the largest and most diverse industrial heat users in the South Island in one geographical location.

The Timaru District is the second district to complete a EECA (the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority), Regional Energy Transition Accelerator Report or RETA report, highlighting the region’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and what the region needs to do to transition to a low emissions economy.

The Mid-South Canterbury Regional Energy Transition Accelerator (RETA) report, is the result of months of collaboration between Venture Timaru and EECA, with Transpower, Electricity Ashburton, Alpine Energy and Network Waitaki, local biomass suppliers and forest owners, energy generators and retailers and medium to large industrial energy users.

The report’s insights show the potential for many of the region’s decarbonisation projects to be cost neutral in the coming years.

Included in the report is the significant role biomass will play as a renewable fuel into the future, with $75 million (over 15 years) worth of wood residues sitting in Mid-South Canterbury’s forests. RETA shows that up to 40% of the region’s energy needs could be met by biomass as a complement to electricity.

The 33 sites across Mid-South Canterbury covered by RETA collectively use 5,731TJ of energy, and produce 542kt of emissions each year.

The report details various emissions reduction pathways – all of which eliminate more than 90% of these emissions in the region by 2036.

A number of local companies are leading the way, with many already making great strides in reducing their emissions - check out some of these successes HERE

Energy Future of South Canterbury

Alpine Energy CEO Caroline Ovenstone says "the RETA work has highlighted the importance of the scale of change needed in the strongly rural region and the impact it could have on New Zealand achieving its carbon reduction targets".

“The next few decades will be transformational for our region. The reliance on energy infrastructure will increase as transport and industry decarbonise and electrify. A South Canterbury energy strategy will support the region to collectively deliver these energy needs in a resilient and whole-of-region way".

An initial workshop of key local stakeholders was held in September 2023 from which the strategy for the "Energy for the Future of South Canterbury" will be developed. Watch this space for updates.