15 Apr 2014

Expert pushes for renewable power

5:16 pm on 15 April 2014

New Zealand could produce far more renewable electricity than it does, energy experts at a conference in Wellington have been told.

Genesis Energy's Hau Nui 1 windfarm.

Genesis Energy's Hau Nui 1 windfarm. Photo: GENESIS ENERGY

About three-quarters of New Zealand's electricity comes from renewable sources, and the Government has pledged to raise that to 90 percent by 2025.

But a wind energy conference in Wellington on Tuesday was told the percentage could be greater.

The comments came from a senior executive at the Citigroup banking conglomerate, Mike Eckhart, who was visiting from New York.

"The unique thing about New Zealand is the degree of renewable electricity you already have, and could have more," he said.

"A person switching from a petrol car or a diesel car to an electric car would be switching from oil to renewables."

Switching to renewables in New Zealand would save billions of dollars in oil imports, he said.