The Government will spend $27 million on a clean energy centre in Taranaki in a bid to help New Zealand meet the targets of the newly minted zero carbon bill.
The pre-Budget announcement comes as the Government facilitates the Just Transition in Taranaki over the coming days.
The National New Energy Development Centre, as it has been called, will help New Zealand move towards more renewable energy, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The centre will focus on working with stakeholders to demonstrate and deploy near commercial new energy technologies.
In April last year, $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund was made available to investigate the feasibility of a clean energy centre.
Ardern said the centre would look at the full range of emerging, clean energy options, such as offshore wind, solar batteries and hydrogen.
However, the centre will co-ordinate the testing of the new technologies and develop them for future use.
The new funding comes after the Government unveiled details of its zero-carbon bill – legislation which aims to reduce non-biological greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050.
It also commits to reducing biogenic methane – the emissions created from livestock – to 10 per cent below the 2017 level by 2030.
It's an ambitious goal, says Ardern, and one that cannot be met without investment in research and development.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said yesterday that the technology needed to get New Zealand to that goal does not exist.
"If we waited to invent the technology to get to the moon before we set the target of getting there, we would have never have got there," he said.
The $27m spent on the centre is alongside the Government's $20m over four years earmarked for spending on research and development.
Ardern said investing in science that could have global application is one of the best ways New Zealand can contribute to fighting climate change.
"The centre will be established on a strong foundation with pledges of collaboration and support from the energy sector, research organisations and supply chain businesses – both local to Taranaki and from around the world.
"Our global confrontation with the changing climate requires us to face the long-term challenge of sustainably powering our economy over the next 30 years to ensure we are the best place in the world to live, to work, to raise a family and to get ahead."
She said Taranaki has long been New Zealand's top energy-producing region – "the region can be a leader in clean energy as well".