Northland Energy Forum
How did the Forum come about?
The Northland Energy Forum (NEF) was formed mid-2010 by energy industry players, generators, lines companies and local government interests to enable economic growth through a reliable, sustainable, diverse and economic supply of energy.
Who makes up NEF?
Founding members are:
- EECA I Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority;
- Meridian Energy;
- Refining NZ;
- Top Energy; and
What does the Forum do?
About 40% of New Zealand’s energy is already produced in Northland (most of it at the oil refinery at Marsden Point), but the region also has considerable potential and untapped resources on the broader energy front, including renewable energy resources like wind, tidal, geothermal and bio-energy from crops and forest waste.
Among the challenges facing Northland however is the view by many that Northland is simply a holiday destination as well as a lack of understanding seems to pervade about the value of energy has to the overall local economy.
Energy development is a key plank for growing Northland’s economy and the Forum is keen to work collectively to influence and guide decision makers. The Forum will support specific energy projects provided:
- They add to Northland’s ability to be a net energy exporter and are from renewable source/s.
- Have the capacity to be economically self-sustaining.
- They’re a catalyst for significant change to the region’s economy.
- They build on Northland’s competitive and or natural advantage/s.
Tell me more about the Strategic Plan that has been published?
The group released in January 2012 the Northland Energy Forum Strategic Plan; a blueprint outlining its plans and vision for energy for the region. This is believed to be the first time in New Zealand where private enterprise has led the process for a regional energy strategy; generally the development of such strategies is led by local government.
The Forum’s overarching Vision is to remove barriers to economic growth in Northland and energy is seen as a key enabler to community prosperity; utilising the leveraging of the energy resource as one of the step change industry sectors to facilitate economic growth.